Epidemic in America: The Loss of Common Sense
I don’t know what has gone wrong in America, but something has. And it has to do with how people think or more accurately, the lack of thinking. Maybe it is a mental health issue; if not already, it could soon become one.
When I was a little kid, the few times I did something overly stupid, my mom would say to me, “Why don’t you use your God-given common sense?” That is the question I ask all of our government departments and corporations today.
"The computer is wrong and I can’t change that." - "Sorry sir, but that’s the rules. I am following the rules and there's nothing you or I can do about it." We have all heard those phrases before, and now it is almost a daily occurrence. Today on the radio business news I heard a story that told it all.
A gentleman walked into a bank to have his check cashed. The teller told him he needed to give his thumbprint before they would cash his check. That is a normal procedure today. There was a problem and here is where the epidemic in America showed itself in full force. This gentleman was a disabled American Veteran and had lost both his arms so he couldn’t submit to the bank teller’s request. The teller told him that without a thumbprint, they couldn’t cash his check; those were the rules and nothing they or he could do about it. After a great deal of hassling and stress, the bank finally agreed to cash his check. No thinking of a solution, no thinking outside the box, no common sense, just following the rules and no thinking.
A 15-year-old girl goes to school and has a Tylenol with her. She is detained and the police and her parents are called. She is investigated and labeled as a possible drug user and on top of that she is suspended. No thinking and no common sense. This is the epidemic in America with all its glory: loss of common sense and actual thinking. Zero tolerance is another phrase that actually means no thinking, no common sense.
In Colorado, a high school student was suspended for bringing a fake rifle to school. It was left in her car and someone saw it and then all loss of common sense broke out. At first this could have been a problem, as everyone remembers Columbine. But it was soon found out she was a member of the Young Marines Organization at Cherokee Trail High School and left it in her car. She was suspended and it practically took an act of congress to get her back into school. They not only wanted to suspend her, but expel her as well, in her senior year. No thinking, no common sense, just follow the rules and be done with it.
One more example of the epidemic in America, a friend of mine was trying to settle an estate and those can be tough enough. Part of the estate was a manufactured home - a mobile home - and he had to get the title to it. In many states a mobile home is titled through the department of motor vehicles, not the normal way a house is, even though most mobile homes are actually cemented in the ground and not going anywhere. In 1994, congress passed a law called the Driver Protection Act. This law was enacted because an actress was killed by a stalker in Los Angeles, a good and needed law. The person trying to get title to his mother’s mobile home was denied the copy of the title because he didn’t show good enough cause to find out who the new driver of this vehicle (house) is. Try to tell someone afflicted with this loss of common sense that there is no driver of a manufactured mobile home. Of course, property records are open to the public on the Internet, and anyone can see who owned, who bought and currently owns any property, but the loss of common sense told the clerk to deny the request because of the Driver Protection Act. The Department of Revenue Motor Vehicle division once again has proven that the loss of common sense is epidemic in America, especially at the government and corporate levels. Following the rules has become the cop-out of the day, the rationalization for the loss of all common sense.
This used to be called “passing the buck”. President Truman had a sign on his desk that read “The buck stops here”. No more excuses and no more passing the buck. Today there is no "buck stops here" because there is no "here". There is no one to ask or talk to, and the "here" is the rulebook. And no one knows who wrote the rulebook.
Yes, we are a country of rules and rules should be followed; but whatever happened to using common sense? We are becoming a country of automatons, a person that acts in a monotonous, routine manner, without active intelligence.
The loss of others using their minds is causing the rest of us to lose our minds. If we are ever to become a great country again, we need to start thinking and using our common sense again.
© 2009 Sam Montana