mourn the passing of an old friend, by the name of Common
Sense. Common Sense lived a long life, but died in the United
States from heart failure on the brink of the new millennium.
No one really knows how old he was, since his birth records
were lost long ago in bureaucratic red tape. He
selflessly devoted his life to service in schools, hospitals,
homes, and factories, helping folks get jobs done without
fanfare and foolishness.
For decades, petty rules, silly laws, and frivolous lawsuits
held no power over Common Sense. He was credited with
cultivating such valued lessons as to know when to come in out
of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, and that 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 body
piercing, whole language, and "new math." But his
health declined when he became infected with the
In recent decades his waning strength proved no match for the
ravages of well intentioned but overbearing regulations.
He watched in pain as good people became ruled by self-seeking
lawyers. His health rapidly deteriorated when schools
endlessly implemented zero-tolerance policies.
Reports of a six-year-old boy 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 only worsened his condition. It declined
even further when schools had to get parental consent to
administer aspirin to a student, but could not inform the
parent when a female student was pregnant or wanted an
Finally, Common Sense lost his will to live as the Ten
Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses,
criminals received better treatment than victims, and federal
judges stuck their noses in everything from the Boy Scouts to
Finally, when a woman, too stupid to realize that a steaming
cup of coffee was hot, was awarded a huge settlement, Common
Sense threw in the towel. As the end neared, Common
Sense drifted in and out of logic but was kept informed of
developments regarding questionable regulations such as those
for low flow toilets, rocking chairs, stepladders and auto
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 two stepbrothers: My
Rights, and Ima Whiner.
Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was
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