image-i-nations trésor

Use Your Common Sense Day – 4 November

Use Your Common Sense Day is observed annually on November 4, since common sense is an important tool for living life. Common sense is “the applied knowledge of simple, sensible things”, such as not putting metal into microwaves or jumping into rivers without knowing what is under the water. This date also marks the birthday of Will Rogers — the man who remarked “Common Sense ain’t that common”! We need to remind ourselves of the importance of applying common sense to our everyday lives and decisions to avoid unnecessary dangers and make the most of opportunities! In the social media age, this is a pet peeve of many — that common sense seems to have fallen by the wayside. There are even calls for subjects stimulating common sense in the school curriculums in the U.S. because so few seem to employ it!


Common sense as a concept is ancient, first being brought to the limelight by the great philosopher, Aristotle. He described it as the ability with which animals (including humans) process sense perceptions, memories, and imagination to reach many types of judgments. To his thinking, only humans have real reasoned thinking, which takes them beyond common sense. This was then carried forward in the Roman interpretation, which holds that concepts like ideas and perceptions are held by man and make them more sophisticated than animals.

French philosopher, René Descartes, established the most common modern meaning, and its controversies, when he stated that everyone has a similar and sufficient amount of common sense, but it is rarely used well.

Since the Age of Enlightenment, the term “common sense” has been used for a rhetorical effect both approvingly, as a standard for good taste, and source of scientific and logical axioms.

In modern times, common sense is defined as ‘the basic level of practical knowledge and judgment that we all need to help us live reasonably and safely”. Without any doubt, applying common sense could save one a lot of problems.

Common Sense Day was created by Bud Bilanich, a career mentor, motivational speaker, blogger, and author. He’s starred in some leading TV shows and magazines and has written 19 books that highlight how to succeed in life, and how the application of common sense is vital to that success. Common Sense Day was first celebrated in 2015.


Source: Text:    Image: iStock

2nd Sunday of Advent, A

pinterest-winnowingThe Bible speaks of God in so many ways. It describes his qualities and relates his actions. It also tells of his wishes for us, human beings. Often too, it speaks of his future interventions. All this in a language which is not abstract but quite vivid, one could almost say picturesque.

It is the case in today’s gospel (2nd Sunday of Advent, A) where we are told that the Lord is coming “with his winnowing fan in his hand” (Mt.3:1-12).

In our modern high-tech world we do not see much winnowing being done as it was in Jesus’ time. Such activity can still be observed in some areas of Africa or Asia but many of us would not have seen this otherwise than on television.

This does not mean that the message of the gospel text is no longer relevant. If we ask ourselves why winnowing is being done, the answer is clear: To separate the good grain from the straw or other unwanted material. This example speaks of sorting out, or getting rid of something to keep the good, the best.

Is Advent not a good period to do exactly this in our lives? We could look at it as a ‘Sorting out season’ – sorting out the different areas of our daily living: our opinions, our judgements, our values, our attitudes, our choices, our decisions, our plans, our habits, our expectations…

John the Baptist is calling people to ‘Repent…’ This involves a change, a ‘straightening up’ – the text says it clearly: “Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight.” Perhaps the best way to do this is… to make straight our own paths!

To move away from our crooked ways, our distorted vision of life and people, our narrow-minded opinions, all that is us is a deviation from truth, justice, respect of others. Indeed, winnowing can still be part of a ‘modern’ life-style!

Source: Image: Pinterest