How do you know if you have common sense?

Over the years I have often expressed and wondered why there is not a school for common sense, and why a course on this topic is not offered in middle or high school? For fun, I have periodically searched on-line to find a class on common sense. Typically this search is often prompted by an act of someone either I know, or based on an interaction recanted from someone else about the “lack of common sense” exhibited by an individual. There are so many examples of people who do not have “common sense”, or who from time to time say or do something which would be classified as not having common sense. However, my real question is, does someone who lacks common sense know they fall into this classification?

Another question I have posed relating to this topic is whether common sense is a gift or a natural ability some people possess (e.g., an ability to draw, dance, are mechanically inclined, have a good sense of direction) or can it be be taught? If for the sake of conversation we agree this subject can be taught, where would you even begin to teach this subject, as it is such a broad reaching topic? Perhaps the subject could be broken down into various categories such as at home, at work, in social settings, with friends, family, pets or while traveling outside of the US borders. The point is, there needs to be a foundation or entry level course, and hypothetically, there also needs to be an instructor who is deemed to have an enormous amount of common sense to teach the course.

Common sense involves finding solutions to scenarios, and the brains ability to think through a series of ways to come up with an ideal solution. However, everyone’s brains are wired  and process information differently, so the potential to have multiple solutions to a problem is entirely possible. Unfortunately not all solutions are equal, and this is often when the solution devised and presented has what I will refer to as “holes”, and may not be ideally suited to solve the challenge. An example of this could be your boss needs to have you provide her with information related to a non time sensitive project, and the information could easily be obtained from you during regular business hours. However, they decide to call you at 11 PM on Friday night to ask you to begin working on providing them with the non-time sensitive information they require. A person with common sense would know they can and should wait until Monday morning to obtain this information from you.

So, if there was a test to determine whether you had common sense, would you want to take it? Or, have there been times you wish you could send someone you know or whom you have encountered to “common sense school”?  I guarantee most people who possess common sense would answer yes to this question.


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