Today we mourn the passing of an old friend by the name of Common Sense.
Common Sense lived a long life but died from heart failure at the brink of
the millennium. No one really knows how old he was since his birth records
were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He selflessly devoted his
life to service in schools, hospitals, homes, factories and offices,
helping folks get jobs done without fanfare and foolishness. For decades,
petty rules, silly laws and frivolous lawsuits held no power over Common
He was credited with
cultivating such valued lessons as to know when to come in out of the
rain, the early bird gets the worm, and life isn't always fair. Common
Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you
earn), reliable parenting strategies (the adults are in charge, not the
kids), and it's okay to come in second.
A veteran of the Industrial
Revolution, the Great Depression, and the Technological Revolution, Common
Sense survived cultural and educational trends including feminism, body
piercing, whole language and "new math."
But his health declined when he became infected with the
"If-it-only-helps-one-person-it's-worth-it" virus. In recent
decades his waning strength proved no match for the ravages of overbearing
federal regulation. He watched in pain as good people became ruled by
self-seeking lawyers and enlightened auditors. His health rapidly
deteriorated when schools endlessly implemented zero tolerance policies,
reports of six year old boys charged with sexual harassment for kissing a
classmate, a teen suspended for taking a swig of mouthwash after lunch,
and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student. It declined even
further when schools had to get parental consent to administer aspirin to
a student but cannot inform the parent when the female student is pregnant
or wants an abortion.
Finally, Common Sense lost his
will to live as churches became businesses, criminals received better
treatment than victims, and federal judges stuck their noses in everything
from Boy Scouts to professional sports. As the end neared, Common Sense
drifted in and out of logic but was kept informed of developments,
regarding questionable regulations for asbestos, low flow toilets,
"smart" guns, the nurturing of Prohibition Laws and mandatory
air bags. Finally when told that the homeowners association restricted
exterior furniture only to that which enhanced property values, he
breathed his last.
Common Sense was preceded in
death by his parents Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter,
Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by three stepbrothers:
Rights, Tolerance and Whiner. Not many attended his funeral because so few
realized he was gone.