The Death of Common Sense

Common SenseYesterday my wife was juicing lemons from our lemon tree. She decided to cut the peels before running them through the garbage disposal and in the process of cutting them she cut something else too. A big, kind of circular cut right on the end of her middle finger.

So off to the Urgent Care we went to see if stitches would be required. Once at the urgent care we waited, and waited, and waited.

It was after a couple of hours that I started to get a little bored so I sent out a light hearted post about our long wait and said something about having no idea the Obama Care had kicked in already. It was meant as a joke.

But admittedly I should have known better.

I learned during the past election cycle that common sense was dead. It was replaced by incredibly over-sensitive people who don’t believe in humor. They only believe in “their position” and refuse to even listen to anything else.

Just to be sure, this is not just a “Democratic” problem, there are just as many over zealous Republicans as there are Democrats. Maybe more.

I received one response to my tweet that said I was being immediately un-followed. I replied that my tweet was meant as a joke. The response I got back was amazing: He said that killing people, poor people, black people, union people, as ALL Republicans want to do is no joking matter.

Another response said that my “insensitivity” showed my “white privilege” and the racist leanings of ALL Republicans.

A few others just cut to the chase and said they hoped I died for insulting the President.

Really? Has it come to that? Is it any wonder nothing gets done in Washington with the outright hatred on both sides of the isle.

Where is the common sense folks? We are all one people and everyone’s opinion matters. What many people don’t seem to realize is that if you don’t allow someone else’s opinion to matter then your opinion doesn’t matter either.

If you only listen to people who agree with you, then you will never learn anything. If you only talk to people who already agree with you, then you’ll likely never have the opportunity to make a real difference in the world.

In my tweet I never said anything about being Republican, never insulted President Obama, never said anything about killing anyone. Yet, that’s what people took from my mention of Obama Care.

Maybe we need to watch a little less of Fox News and MSNBC and return to the days when we valued and learned from the opinions of our friends and families, not people paid to drive up ratings by slandering “the other side”.

I hope common sense can make a comeback; if it doesn’t we are all in for a tough, likely unhappy future.

Can I get a vote for the return of Common Sense to American Society???

19 thoughts on “The Death of Common Sense

  1. Sorry to hear about your wife, Steve. Hope she is doing ok and that it didn’t require too many stitches. Ouch!

    Anyway, well said Steve. The big takeaway is what you said right here:

    ‘We are all one people and everyone’s opinion matters. What many people don’t seem to realize is that if you don’t allow someone else’s opinion to matter then your opinion doesn’t matter either.’

    Unfortunately, when it comes to the land of Twitter, 140 characters doesn’t allow enough room for context. The tweeter is the only one who has the context. The audience doesn’t. I’ve both misunderstood others tweets and have had mine misunderstood. haha All because the context of the tweet is missing. So every tweet can mean a thousand different things to a thousand different people depending on each of our own life experiences, values, beliefs, etc.

    In fact, I’ve considered writing a post as well just to personally clarify what has been behind a ton of my own activist tweeting of the past few weeks. haha Which were prompted by several current events in our own country and other parts of the world that ‘echoed’ the nature of things that mean a great deal to me personally because they were things that have touched my own life in the past.

    When the context is missing from a tweet, there is no way the audience can understand the heart AND the head of a single tweet! : )

    So thanks for touching on this topic. It’s important for us to consider the severe limitations of 140 characters in every tweet. When in doubt, we need to check it out one on one before we start making assumptions, flying off the handle, and starting senseless wars when we all have far bigger ‘fish’ to fry in life…like the state of our union as a WHOLE, etc.

  2. Steve,
    sorry to hear about your wife. I agree with you fully and have my vote in this regard always. I have no clue what has happend to people nowadays. You have make awesome points.
    Abbas.

  3. Olatunde Ayodeji. says:

    That was really ridiculous. Actually, as you rightly said, common sense is scarce and expensive. This days, if one could demonstrate the common sense in what we do, such people will be regarded as intelligent. That’s to tell you how reasoning as deteriorated in the world. Well, I follow you on twiter and have always love every of you twit. A lot of piece from you has always been inspiring. Just ignore such deluded act and focus on your good deed and demonstrate the quality of leadership that U have possessed. I hope you wife is now ohk and be careful subsequently. My regards to her. #GreatJobMan!

    • Thanks my friend, I appreciate your kind words. I really shouldn’t have been so surprised by the response but I just couldn’t believe one little joking comment could arouse such anger.

      It’s almost scary that people have gotten so unreasonable that we must literally attack someone with a different opinion.

      And my wife is on the mend, she has a pretty sore finger with 6 stitches but she’ll be fine in a few days.

  4. Barbara Lee Strangfeld says:

    Mr. Keating, I hope you will allow a respectful opinion from another perspective. First, let me say I follow you on twitter, read your blog and greatly admire your business acumen as well as your perspective on life in general. I couldn’t agree more with your comment on the need for more common sense. Amen to that! Also I am glad your wife is on the mend.

    Yet I did find your comment re the Affordable Care Act – not up to your usual standards of excellence. I saw nothing funny about it and believe me – I love humor and appreciate a good sense of humor. The long wait at the Urgent Care had nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act nor the President and I would no more ascribe it to that than I would ascribe my child’s flunking his history test to the “Bush No Child Left Behind Act”.

    I did particularly like your comment about Fox News and MSNBC. When I grew up, everyone read “Life” or “Look” Magazine and we had only 3 channels – ABC, NBC, or CBS – none of which differed very much from the others. Americans, therefore, had a common culture – something we sorely need today, I think – as well as a good dose of common sense.

    • Thanks for your comment. I clearly underestimated the emotion that still exists around Obama Care. It’s the law and like it or not, people need to deal with it.

      I would compare my comment about Obama to a similar comment I made a while back about tying my dogs to our car roof for a ride like Mitt Romney did, not an attack on Mitt, just poking fun at someone I respect. (And my wife would kill me if I ever actually thought of doing it) 🙂

      The funny thing is, I’d bet that both Mr. Romney and the President would have seen the humor in the comment and understood it was NOT meant as a criticism of them or their policies.

      The hatred spewing out of the media is having a huge negative effect on the discourse in this country and it needs to stop. People have to stop being so sensitive and at least allow other people to express a point of view without literally threatening to kill them for it. I mean, seriously, people threatened to kill me Saturday for insulting what they called “King Obama” –

      That’s just pure crazy.

  5. Hi Steve

    First, and most foremost, I hope that your wife is feeling better.

    I read your post last night and again this morning. Unfortunately, the anger you experienced is becoming all too commonplace.

    I believe every American wants his or her family to have a good life. If we’re going to leave our children a better country, we must learn to live together in harmony.

    You’re right on the mark when you said that everyone’s opinion matters. We have to get back to the point where we’re able to debate issues without attacking the people voicing them.

    Although “attack commercials” may win elections and “over-the-top” news coverage may increase ratings, they may also have unintended consequences for our society. Unfortunately, you were on the receiving end. Role models have a obligation and a responsibility to ratchet down the dialogue.

    Thank you for writing this post. The first step in solving a problem is knowing that we have one.

    Best,

    Frank

  6. Well said Steve! I am so tired of the polarization from both sides of the isle. We all just need to shut up and listen to each other more. Really listen. It’s likely that we’ll find that we have far more in common than not. It’s my ardent belief that the extremes on both sides fuel the flames of division. It makes telling the “news” easy. All you have to do is paint the other side as bad.

    The problem is that life is complicated. Problems aren’t solved with just one side’s solution. But, if we can’t or won’t talk to each other those brilliant solutions, most often created in the middle, are avoided. Sad really.

    Thanks for the excellent post.

    • Thanks for your comment and you point a great point, it is indeed the people are the “fringes” that make it hard for the majority in the middle to have a reasonable debate. The far left and the far right simply shout the moderates down and everyone loses because of it.

      The solutions to most problems are found in the middle, not the edges. It’s unfortunate that the actions of a few are allowed to weigh down the good intentions of the many.

  7. I would like to repent to for trying to pick sides rather than take the higher road. Compromises that add value to both sides would be the better solution. What we have here is a lack of emotional intelligence.

  8. Matilda says:

    Steve, I hope your wife is feeling better.

    I enjoyed your joke about “…having no idea the O.Care had kicked in already.” I’m still smiling. 🙂
    Yes, one little joking comment could evoke anger and more.
    Some people are ready to react and attack too quickly via their programmed brain, which gives me the socialist-communist impression, without really listening to you. Ignorance and lack of sense of humor can be frustrating. Ouch!
    As always, you know how to answer. Excellent post.

  9. Hi Steve – I’d like to focus on your comment around how we “… return to the days when we valued and learned from the opinions of our friends and families, not people paid to drive up ratings …” – I cannot agree with you more.

    Common sense has gone by the wayside in today’s world where people no longer think they have a responsibility to think for themselves. Instead they allow the media and other dubious sources to program their thoughts and what they should think. And it’s not just topics related to politics that we allow ourselves be brainwashed! There are so many recent examples of the media feeding us nonsense on how to solve the world’s and America’s concerns that are just plain rubbish – yet many of us happily lap it all up,

    I can’t tell you the number of times I hear people say things like: “Did you see/hear on the news last night …”, and then go onto to regurgitate and discuss the terrible events or stores portrayed, never mentioning any of the good stories that were also presented, if indeed the news bothered to feed us anything useful and good.

    Is it healthy to focus on and dwell on the negatives? I don’t think so, however, negatives and horror are what drive up ratings. And I am further amazed that when I or others try to interject with something beneficial or positive and draw the conversation away from the negative, how quickly the conversation will fall back to the negative.

    Having traveled and lived in parts of the world where tragedy and terror is part of daily life, I never heard those people focusing on the horror, rather they were up beat and using their common sense to help themselves and those around them.

    I recently saw a cartoon where the man was watching a news reader on the TV asking: “What can we do to stop the spread of terrorism in today’s world?” – and with that the man turned off the TV and smiled.

    As leaders, let’s bring a dose of common sense back into our work places and get people working together to solve problems with our brains and our own thoughts before we lose the ability to think for ourselves altogether.

    Thank you
    Robert.

    • Thanks so much for your clear thinking comment. I am with you 100%!

      If everything the media said was going to happen actually happened we would have been goners long ago.

      People do need to think for themselves… If it sounds unbelievable then you know what…. it probably is unbelievable.

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