: belonging to or shared by two or more people or groups
: done by many people
It’s that last definition I want to zero in on. Occurring frequently. So when we use the word common before other words, it has the privilege of emphasising something that you should find in everyday life… a lot.
Common Sense… the ability to think and behave in a reasonable way and to make good decisions.
Common Courtesy… polite or considerate behavior: consideration for other people, or good manners.
Common Ground… a basis of mutual interest or agreement.
But more and more, I find less of these ‘common’ traits being practiced commonly.
For starters… common sense says that you don’t do stupid stuff just because. And yet, YOLO has become the cry of the millennial age. Someone I know even goes so far as to tout “I do what I want!” Now, originally, this motto was more akin to Carpe Diem, where you realize that you only have one life and you should live it that way, experiencing every moment, taking every opportunity, making the best of the moments you have here on Planet Earth.
However, these days it is the battle cry of the stupid. Almost like watching a redneck scream “Hey, watch this!” Cause you just know nothing good ever follows those words. Everytime I hear someone say YOLO right before they go off on an asinine spree of moronic proportion, I just want to look at them, put on my best Inigo Montoya accent and say…
Then there is the whole courtesy thing. I sit and watch as people live their lives in absolute ignorance of the humans right next to them. Seriously, would it kill you to stand there for 5 more seconds and hold that door for the elderly lady with the cane walking up to you? I just don’t get how self-absorbed people have become. I guess they are just too busy checking their tweets or Facebook or responding to the text message of the person standing right next to them.
Come on people!
How hard is it to remember that:
The entirety population of the world
with one minor exception
is composed of other people!
No, I’m not saying you aren’t important, but that whole Golden Rule thing kind of had a really good point to it.
Which leads me directly to my last point. How often do we get into arguments and fights, or watch relationships break up and split because it’s just easier to sulk in our hurt pride then it is to find some common ground and repair what we, most likely, had a hand in breaking. Sure, there are some relationships that are destructive and should be ended, but see the Common Sense thing above to figure those out. I’m talking about those relationships that you can’t afford to lose. The ones you have committed too, the ones you have invested in. It really isn’t easier to walk away from those as you might suppose.
Why can’t we find common ground these days? Why can’t we find a common struggle to unite us as a people? Why can’t we treat others like we want to be treated? Why can’t we just stop being so selfish and realize we need each other.
Maybe that’s it. We don’t want to have to need other people. Maybe what’s really at the heart of our lack of common anything is that we are really just a prideful lot of idiots.
If that’s true…
God help us.