Of Common Sense – Volume II

The Words and Wisdom of Keith Lionel Brown

In the early morning of our lives, our school is our home, the students in the classroom are our siblings, and our teachers are our parents and grandparents. In the afternoon of our lives, our school is a building outside the home, the students in the classroom become our friends and confidants, and our teachers are those who have themselves studied and prepared to impart knowledge to us that we will use as we continue on our journey through life. In the evening of our lives, we continue learning in the school of life with the world being our classroom, and life itself being our teacher.

Each new day of life is an opportunity for us to learn some new and interesting things. The wise man gleans as much as he can from his life experiences and with his new found knowledge and wisdom is able to chart and navigate his course in life. With all of his learning, he also learns that some obstacles in life can be overcome by using a little common sense.

What you are about to read are some of the gleanings from my personal life experiences and the lessons that those experiences have taught me to help me chart and navigate my course. I believe that many of these thoughts are merely common sense.

It is a fact that the Heavens are still open and God does speak to man still, even today, even at this very hour. The Heavens have never been closed. I contend that God at no time ever stop speaking to man; however, because of pride, man through his mortal wisdom and presumed intelligence placed himself on a pedestal above God, thinking that he (man) knew best, and stopped listening to the voice of God. By denying the power and existence of God, man in essence also denied His Son, Jesus the Christ, and furthermore, squelched any and all promptings of the Still Small Voice, the Holy Spirit.

There is a vast difference between allowing something to happen and causing something to happen. For example, a mother may have a desire that her child not participate in or do a certain thing. However, because of the persistence of the child, the mother, with foreknowledge of what might happen, may allow the child to have his way. The consequences that follow because of the child’s actions were not caused by the mother, but are a direct result of the child not listening and wanting to have his way and constitute for him a valuable learning experience.

Why is it that it is always easier to give someone else a spoon full of medicine than it is for us to have to take that same medicine ourselves? And so it is with giving advice. Some people are quick to give advice to others as if they were giving a spoon full of sugar to help the medicine go down, but when others try to give them advice, the medicine does not taste as good no matter how sweet one tries to make it taste.

In the ancient Greek theater actors were known as hypocrites, which meant playing a part on the stage, or putting on a mask to misrepresent reality. Think of life as a theater and we are the actors on the stage. What are some of the masks that we wear to misrepresent to the world who we truly are? In any given situation, and depending on circumstances, are we all not guilty of being “hypocrites” at one time or another?

Instead of spending so much time and energy worrying about what we think others are or should be doing, why don’t we exert some of that same time and energy looking in the mirror at ourselves and asking the question, “What am I and what should I be doing?” Let us learn to be less judgmental of others and more attentive to our own affairs. While we are so concerned about the condition of the house of another, it may well be that it is our own house that is the one in need of dire repairs.

Lock a man with only his intelligence and little common sense into a box and he may eventually figure out how to set himself free through his reasoning and logic. Something as obvious as searching for the key seems too simple to him. And so he spends his time trying to solve a proverbial puzzle that does not exist except in his own mind. Lock a man with not so much intelligence, but who has common sense into that same box, and his concern is with being free. And so he will use that which is available to get free as quickly as possible.

There are some very intelligent people in the world. They possess the knowledge of a myriad of facts and ideas. However, I humbly submit that intelligence alone is not enough. Along with that intelligence it is more important that they have some common sense. Not all answers to life’s quandaries can be found in a textbook, through sophisticated formulas, or even in a classroom lecture. There are many instances in life where good old common sense prevails.

Being silent and patiently listening to what is being said is not to be confused with acceptance of or compliance with what is being said. Remaining silent after hearing what is said often proves to be a greater sign of intelligence than standing on a proverbial soap box and giving what could become a nonsensical rebuttal. There are times when silence is golden. There are times when saying less is more and better.

My dear parents taught me several life lessons as a boy. One of those lessons is as follows: When someone else is speaking, we keep our mouths shut and our ears open. After the speaker finishes, and we still feel the need to speak, it then becomes our opportunity to do so, and not a moment before. We will get a lot further in this life by being courteous and polite then by being discourteous and assertive.

If I have ever said, done, or written anything that may have caused offense, I humbly apologize to the one(s) who have been offended. However, may I also serve notice that I will NEVER apologize to anyone for standing up for what I believe to be TRUE and RIGHT. I will NOT bow down and cater to anyone who wishes for me to be silent. As long as God Almighty gives me breath and a voice to speak, I will proclaim TRUTH from the highest mountain tops or the lowest of valleys – to the many who may listen or to the lonely one, it does not matter. My life is in the hands of my Savior and I will not become a servant to the dictates and potentates of men.

It is high time that we put all the naysayers of the world in their proper place and let them know of a certainty that they are a minority, not the majority. Though they are free to lift their voices and offer their opinions, those opinions should not dictate to any of us how we should live our lives or sway us from standing up for what we know to be true and right. I am determined from this moment on that the more people try to knock me down, I will choose to get back up, and with a clarion voice I will proclaim that I cannot and will not be defeated. I will continue to stand my ground even if it means standing alone.


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