Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Jan 17, 2012 | Comments (0)

Common Sense: The Missing Link in an Information Age

The time we live in is commonly called "The Information Age". The current age is characterized by the ability of individuals to have instant access to knowledge that would have been difficult or impossible to find previously.  We have been transformed into an information society.  Instant news coming to us by computers, twitter, texting, and cell phones. It has made us learning junkies. We have become addicted to seeking more and more information and knowledge.

If we have a problem, we look it up through the internet.  We find our answers to relationship problems, personal affairs, what to do and what not to do with eating, drinking, diets, business, finances, buying or selling. Google "advice" and in nineteen seconds you will get over two and a half billion hits on advice.  Google "advice books" and in forty-one seconds you get over a billion advice books. It is all there for the asking.

There is a problem with this tsunami of information.  It is as if we are asking what is for breakfast in the middle of an avalanche.  What is it that we are missing?  It should not be a problem to see where we are headed.  It is the Titanic swimming in the middle of frozen waters.  It is there for all to see but as the old saying goes we can not see the forest for the trees. Our attitude seems to be, "If you can't see the forest through the trees, cut the trees and you'll see there is no forest"

What we are missing is plain and simple "common sense".  We start with the problem and then jump over common sense to look up the answer. What if we began teaching people how to discover and use their own common sense?

It does not take a rocket scientist to discover our common sense.  Common sense means it is common to everyone as our heart, brain, lungs are common. It is innate to all of us.  We all have used common sense at different times.  When we use common sense, we have moved from our rational thinking head into our conscious wondering heart. This does not mean we should ignore the information age.  It means we should use it with the Wisdom that comes from common sense.  To work well, it needs to become a daily habit rather than a last resort.

The best way to discover our common sense is to do it. When it works, it then will become important to understand how it works. Common sense can be symbolized as a light bulb going on.  Take a personal problem you are struggling with. Wonder what would be the difference if you made your decision in the dark, or if you made it in the light.  Which one would make common sense?  If you discovered the difference the light just went on.

More material on how common sense works can be found in the blogs, videos and thoughts.

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