The Death of Common Sense – a reflection from Ireland

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has departed this life feeling rejected by many.  No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth certificate was lost long ago in miles and miles of red tape.  It is known, however, that he survived the Penal Laws, the Civil War, the election of Trump and the corruption of the media, but deeply felt the pain of being unwanted and unneeded when Varadkar & Co came to power.

Known affectionately to friends as Horse Sense and Sound Thinking, he devoted himself to a life of service in homes, schools, hospitals and offices, helping folks get jobs done with little fanfare.  He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn’t always fair, and maybe it was my fault.

CS lived by sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you earn), sensible parenting (adults, not children, are in charge) and prudent dietary plans (offset eggs and bacon with a little fibre and orange juice).  His health began to go downhill when well-intentioned, but overbearing, regulations, mainly coming from Brussels (but that wasn’t said), were set in place.

Reports of a six-year old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student worsened his condition.  He lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they had themselves failed to do in disciplining their bold children.  He declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer aspirin, sun lotion or a plaster to a pupil, but need not inform her parents when she became pregnant and wanted to abort her baby.

Common Sense survived many cultural and educational trends including disco, body piercing, child-centred learning and new maths.  But his health began declining in the late 1960s when he became infected with the If-It-Feels-Good, Do-It virus.  In the following decades, his waning strength proved no match for the ravages of banks giving out mortgages that could never be repaid and for homes that weren’t worth the money.

He was sapped of the will to live when the Ten Commandments were cast aside, politicians interfered with religious rights, criminals received better treatment than victims and judges sided with the burglar who sued you for assault because you protected yourself and your own children.  Life became too much for him when motorway signs told motorists, peering through the rain, that there was water on the roads.  And when equality rights became a ticket to a big payout.

CS finally gave up the will to live when people in women’s bodies claimed to be men, men thought they could marry a husband, and voters decided it was wonderful that mothers could end the lives of their own unborn children.  As the end neared, doctors say CS drifted in and out of logic but was kept informed about parents celebrating their children receiving sacraments they didn’t believe in, having a big party but not knowing what it was for.

Finally he breathed his last, gasping for breath, when informed about students going to university to be told that truth, especially moral truth, was merely a matter of opinion.

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 grandchildren: I Know My Rights, Someone Else is to Blame, and I’m A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realised that he had departed.  If you remember him, pass on this tribute.  If not, join the silent majority and do nothing.

Author unknown


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