For too long reference has been made to the concept of common sense. This happens to go on even after so much has changed. It is therefore only right to argue that when mention was made of such concept it was in synonymity with wisdom. It was made with reference to what is right and just or logical.
As time went on and things changed, it did not inherently mean that every good changes. A lot of good things turned bad too. This also meant that norms, values, and acts that were just and acceptable deteriorated. This is mostly due to the westernization of almost every aspect often infiltrated through almost every system. To an unsuspecting mind, this was all development and civilization. Although in actual sense, it was nothing more than degradation of almost everything valuable and that kept society’s fabric intact.
Therefore, with the further degradation and deterioration of every sensible aspect of humanity, its perpetuation became common. It became so common that it became accepted as a decent living standard. Such a phenomenon increasingly became common in the advent of the internet or what is “commonly” known as social media.
For example, we have seen how, somewhere in its advent, social media became a platform for naming and shaming, exposures of other people’s private lives and deeds and so on. It became so common that it was something to look forward to. It became the most sought and shared information on social media. But as someone once said, social media or the internet is not to be blamed for any of this because these are empty platforms and we voluntarily provide them with free content.
The truth is that these platforms are merely exposing the human mind and its behaviour thereof. It exposes the underlying factors that most probably point to the fact that there is no other entity responsible for man’s demise than himself. It also just reflects what is hiding behind man’s pretence as good and “well-intended” in his dealings or daily interactions with others.
Common sense in its true essence refers to what has been common in the times when man was man, said what he/she meant and meant what he/she said. It referred to integrity, honesty, diligence, and natural intelligence. It represented the essence and true definition of what it means to be human not only to others but to oneself. It was a reflection on one’s thoughts, ideas, and actions and how those may impact the others.
Unfortunately, all that made what common sense is has become uncommon. Even the term itself has been so diluted and its common degradation has become more common than the origin. It has reached the point that in its true essence that, if it were to be used as a yardstick for humanity, man would appear to be nothing more than a shadow of himself.
There is nothing much to refer to as common sense when a man has become corrupt, greedy, egoistic, self-serving, and dishonest because all of these is what has become common. Therefore, it is time to sit back with this common “common sense” and revert to what is no longer common. May it ring in the back of every mind that what we may have come to accept as common or eventually every sense in every aspect. The return to the uncommon or the formerly common may even shed more light on the root cause of every plight of humanity that may eventually lead to its imminent demise.
By Karlos TheGreat
OSHIMWENYO is published every Friday in the New Era newspaper with contributions from Karlos Naimwhaka.