Common and Uncommon Sense

RL071811I have long been intrigued by people who have become known as universal men and women. These are people who have succeeded at the highest level in more than one field of endeavor. The person who probably most embodies the concept of a universal man is Benjamin Franklin. Franklin was a statesman, inventor, scientist, publisher, and philosopher just to name a few areas of accomplishment.

Benjamin Franklin was fond of saying, “Common sense is not common.” He was pointing out the fact that, just because most people know the right thing to do, doesn’t necessarily mean they will do the right thing.

Think about the current problems you are facing or messes you are cleaning up in your personal or professional life. Oftentimes, we have to admit that we brought these situations on ourselves, either by doing or not doing something that we understood to be important.

Since the invention of the automobile over 100 years ago, there has been no development that has saved more lives than the seatbelt. The seatbelt is a simple, low-cost solution to a potentially lethal problem. Seatbelts are simple, painless, and are literally at our fingertips every time we need them; however, more than a half century after the development of the seatbelt, many people still fail to wear them.

Millions of dollars are spent on advertisements to encourage us to simply wear our seatbelts. All of us old enough to obtain a driver’s license understand the practical, safety, and legal benefits of wearing a seatbelt, but millions of times every day, people get in a car and take their life into their own hands as they drive without putting on their seatbelt. As Mr. Franklin told us, having everyone aware of a benefit is not the same as everyone taking advantage of that same benefit.

There are many obstacles and difficulties in life that we cannot avoid, but unfortunately the ones that are readily avoidable still plague many people who don’t do what they know to be in their best interest. Whether it’s wearing your seatbelt, funding your retirement, getting your insurance and will in order, or any number of simple common sense things we know we should do, our success and failure is determined not by what we know but, instead, it is determined by what we actually do.

As you go through your day today, determine to make common sense common in your life.

Today’s the day!

Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including, “The Ultimate Gift.” He is also a columnist and motivational speaker. He may be reached at 5840 South Memorial Drive, Suite 312, Tulsa, OK 74145-9082; by email at; or on Facebook at

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply