Thanks for the Super Power   Leave a comment

My teenager son has a t-shirt —

Common sense – so rare it’s like a super power

He’s right, of course. There’s an amazing shortage of common sense in our modern world. Even super heroes seem in want of it these days. We’re watching Jessica Jones on Netflix. If you’re familiar, you know what I mean.

I’m grateful for having been raised steeped in common sense. I claim no credit for having developed it. My crazy parents raised me in Alaska, where those without common sense generally don’t win the Darwin Award for survival, so I had no choice but to grow some or die a painful early death.

When we would visit the Lower 48 pre-Internet, I always tried to take an indulgent view of my relatives — and especially Brad’s relatives — who seemed to lack common sense. After all, they live where a lack of it probably won’t get them killed. So, they go into the woods without a gun. Unless there is a sudden outbreak of squirrel zombie virus, they probably will live through the experience. Alaskans have a different view because there are bears and angry moose in our forests. They are unlikely to freeze to death waiting for AAA because they don’t bother to carry a jack in their car. My insurance company dispatches a tow truck from Seattle, a 3-day journey through Canada if the driver doesn’t sleep and stops only for restroom breaks and gasoline. So of course, I carry a jack and TWO jack handles in my car. On the other hand, I had to hike down Mount Washington by the lantern light of my cell phone because I forgot the sun goes down at 5:30 in New Hampshire. Sometimes dumb is defined by the real estate you’re standing on.

But as time goes by and I interact with people over this medium that allows us to get to know one another from thousands of miles away, I’m struck by how much like a super power common sense really is. People have a lot of shaky ideas about the world in which we live. They jump to conclusions that are not based on thinking something through to its logical and evidence-based conclusion, but more often than not on whatever emotions they “feel” about a subject, what their favorite movie star thinks on the topic, or their preferred political party’s platform. Then, if you present another view based on having thought through the evidence to a logical conclusion, they immediately pronounce you crazy, evil or stupid for not agreeing with their mistaken beliefs. For some reason, that bothers me more this week than it does normally.

So while I generally use this column as a means to thank God for what He has blessed me with, this week I’m thanking my parents and Alaska for teaching me common sense. It’s too bad this super power does not come with a stylish cape.

Check out what others have to be grateful for or join us —

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