Saturday, February 19, 2011

Have We Lost Our Minds?

According to wikipedia common sense "consists of what people in common would agree on : that which they "sense" as their common natural understanding."  Thomas Paine wrote many, many years ago:  "These are the times that try men's souls..." Well, I hear ya, Tom!  He, of course, was talking about the colonist's challenge to the British government.  His pamplet encouraged, in plain language for the common people, the separation of the colonies from British rule.  He entitled it "Common Sense" because he believed his thoughts to be just that.

Who decides what is common sense?  I would submit that it is a subjective term, largely dependent on the person and the circumstances.  As I Googled the term, I was shown images of some very interesting subjects!  I would venture to guess that not many people would say that these people had ANY common sense.  Sometimes it's just evident to everyone. 

We all knew people in school who didn't measure up to our definition of common sense.  They were extremely "book smart" but when it came to making choices based on common sense, they seemed to fall far short.  We all love to watch America's Home Videos where people tend to use something other than their heads to think.  My question to you is this:  are there more of these people today than there used to be? 

Maybe we're just more aware of them with YouTube and the twenty-four hour news cycles.  I'm not sure, but it seems to me that the inmates have taken over the asylum, so to speak.  There is a bill that is about to reach the floor of the Nebraska legislature that would allow teachers and administrators to carry guns to school.  I won't go into all of my thoughts about that here; I have addressed it much more fully in my article (Teachers Packing Heat).  Is it just me, or is this crazy?  Is allowing teachers to carry guns really the solution to the current issue of violence in our schools? 

As a long-time teacher my number one goal has always been to make the world a better place by instilling confidence, knowledge, and the love of learning in young people.  I thought that was the goal of the educational system of this country.  I just don't see how this law teaches anything positive to the young people of this state, the country, or the world.  I understand the reaction.  We all want to do something, anything, to protect ourselves and the children in our care, but my common sense tells me that this is not the solution.

I'll get down off my soap box now.  I'm interested in hearing what you have to say about all of this.  Don't you think we need to talk about it?

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