“But that’s just common sense!” A commonsensical reflection on common sense

If common sense were so common, would we have a term for it?

If it were as common as breathing, say, and everybody did it, would we go about in our lives and say Oh, that’s just breathing, as if every person involved in the conversation needed that pointed out, given that it was something we were all doing without thinking about anyway. Because it was so common.

I reckon it should be called ‘rare sense’ since, when you think about it, people often only use it to point out when Common Sense is not being evoked or applied, nor is it apparent. That’s why people say it. Because it’s not commonly understood at the point of its being said about something that’s happening or has happened.

But the person saying it is wanting to insist as if the understanding on her or his part is shared; that it is, in fact, common.

Perhaps, instead, the only thing that may be common is a desire to hope we’re all rational enough to play by codes of conduct and understanding we all supposedly share.

When we really do, however, I suspect by then we’ll have stopped evoking the phrase ‘common sense’, because of the blessed fact we’ll then just be doing it without thinking. Like breathing.

But maybe that’s just common sense.

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