I am fortunate enough to have gotten a fairly decent education, so I often mistake common sense for common knowledge. Common sense is, generally, stuff you don’t need to be taught; while common knowledge is stuff everyone is taught.
The problem comes in when you forget that you were actually taught some things because you talk about them so often that they become common knowledge between yourself and your core group. This can vary from group to group. It can be concerning anything from a TV show to Napoleon Bonaparte’s reign over the French.
I’m still learning not to take either my common knowledge or common sense for granted and I think I can say I’m not alone when I get a little frustrated sometimes when I have to stop my speaking (which is, admittedly, faster than strictly necessary) to explain something I know offhand. As I said, none of this is to bash today’s common knowledge (what the latest is on the new most popular show) or today’s common sense (don’t bring up politics at the dinner table). But there is something admirable to be said for progress when people alive today can focus on finding the most reputable news source for a story instead of how long, exactly, one has to boil water before all the bacteria are gone.
Something triggers my disposition to rate an individual high. But I can also follow the trail of their consistency; if they keep it up, I will retain my faith but if not, I am quick to reevaluate them and live with their present standard or altogether remove them from the high horse I had placed them.
As I said, knowledge is stuff everyone is taught. No man had a licence to knowledge. Sometimes our so-called ‘knowledge’ in essence made no sense to common sense. Most times, I surrender my stand by telling the other guy: ‘I see your point; I agree with you on that…’ When I do this, it is because the other guy had made SENSE; it’s not because my theory had not been taught to me at an ivory tower.
Most people who talk of ‘level of education’ are not really educated in common sense. If you claim to be more educated than the next man, you are probably a fool! I don’t give one hoot about such people. And I couldn’t care less if they walked off!
Fela appropriately captured it when he said: “teachers no teach me nonsense!”
By Wilson Akpomedae Ozuem