Common Sense

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Last updated on February 5th, 2024 at 08:12 am

Good day, one and all—hope March has been good to you so far! I was pretty drained an hour or two ago, worrying that I wouldn’t have any idea of what I wanted to blog about. But after a quick cat nap on the couch and a sudden spark of inspiration, it all came to me! I’d promised to blog about some topics that were a little more practical, and what’s more practical than life skills??? Or, even more specifically—what’s more practical than life skills if we start with the basics?

Ah, yes, that’s right. It’s time to go back to school, folks. There’s a lot we all need to keep in mind when it comes to operating in the world around us, and as I go through life daily, I see people getting things wrong over and over and OVER again. So let’s start from the beginning. Let’s get some of those basic life skills figured out so that we can make life a little better, and if everything goes really well, we’ll be able to teach others through our behaviour! Sounds fun, right?

Today’s topic will be COMMON SENSE.

Common sense is most definitely the most inappropriate phrase that I know of. There might be others, but this is one that always sticks out in my mind. I’ve had friends stop by without a jacket on when it’s -20 C outside. I see people who walk into glass doors. (In fact, it’s happened to me, but that’s another story for another time.) Or here’s a good one—I once heard a story about a dude who was lying about the fact that he had a girlfriend, and when asked for photographic proof—he presented a picture… torn out of a magazine.

No, common sense isn’t common at all. It’s a skill that’ll help you through more and more life situations as you use it more often. But how do you hone common sense? Many have argued that common sense cannot be taught—you either have it or you don’t. But I’d like to think that we can at least start from somewhere, no? There’s got to be some way that we can make people more perceptive of the things that they do that are devoid of any common sense, but how? I mean, you could always call people out on it, but you’ll likely get called out in response as a jackass. (I’m speaking from experience, here.) So how do we do it without offending the perpetrators?

To be honest, I don’t have the slightest clue. It’s not quite something that keeps me up at night, but it’s a mystery that I’ve been trying to solve for years. In the meantime, let me drop some nuggets of knowledge on you so next time you find yourself in a situation—perhaps doing something reflexively or seeing someone else really struggling with something that should be straightforward—you might have some better insight on how to handle it.

  • Pressing a button that activates something a second time won’t make the thing happen any faster (e.g. crossing lights, elevators)
  • If the door handle looks like it’s supposed to be pulled, then you’re probably supposed to pull it. Yes, there are doors that look like they’re supposed to be pulled but are really doors you push, but more often than not, door manufacturers are NOT trying to trick you.
  • Make sure that your electronics are plugged in before berating them for “not working right”.
  • You remember that button that they told you not to press or the thing you were told specifically not to do? Yeah, there was probably a reason for that.
  • DON’T TALK BACK TO THE POLICE. I don’t care WHO the heck you think you are.
  • Although they don’t articulate it well, your parents often DO know better than you. Mostly because they at one time probably did the same stupid crap that you’re about to try and pull.
  • The Internet makes it harder to deny anything these days. JUST TELL THE TRUTH. It takes way less effort to remember the truth than it does to keep up a lie.

And of course:

  • Remember that thing you did last time and you felt really crappy about it afterwards? JUST DON’T DO IT AGAIN. The heart wants what the heart wants, and sometimes you just can’t help yourself but come on. Don’t do it!

There. I think that’s a good start.

As for the title, this post came to me when I was washing my hands in the washroom at work and heard someone trying to get in, but was failing at entering correctly. (Note, I would have got it for him but I was preoccupied with maintaining the sanitary nature of my hands.) So a dude from an office down the hall came by and offered the entry code to the gent in peril. Et voila, the door opened! But…


It’s like trying to unlock an open door with a key. Oh, man.

So I guess the entire reason why I’m telling you all this is so you don’t end up like this guy:

Let’s make common sense a bit more common!

Good luck out there,

The second logo for Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad



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