Rarely do I read the forwarded messages received on my work and personal email addresses. They spin false information. They drip with cliché. And most just aren't funny or "eye opening" despite the promises in their subject lines to be so.
I give them a cursory glance most of the time. But every once in a while, I will see I've received a forward from someone whose opinion I value or whose sense of humor or code of morals and ethics is akin to my own.
I've included one such forward below. An obituary for common sense, sent to me by a friend whose name I shall not share, struck me as insightful and witty.
As follows is an obituary for common sense. Thanks to the author, whose name I do not know.
Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as: Knowing when to come in out of the rain; Why the early bird gets the worm; Life isn't always fair; and maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).
His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.
It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an Aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.
Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.
Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.
He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers;
I Know My Rights
I Want It Now
Someone Else Is To Blame
I'm A Victim
Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.
So there's that. But is the above a truthful message? Is common sense dead?
Perhaps the demise of common sense has been greatly exaggerated. Maybe we think that the world has gone mad because those of us who lack or just have a momentary lapse of common sense have greater means of sharing their foolishness with the rest of the world.
The trouble with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other domains on the World Wide Web is that an instant of poor decision-making will live for a lifetime, readily available through a few keystrokes. They also give a voice to the fringe elements among us as well as the out and out crazies. Yeah, that's right - crazies. Sorry if that's too politically incorrect for you.
One of the other folks included in the forward sent a reply all to those who had received the eulogy.
She responded on behalf of common sense, "Common sense is still alive and well here, it and I sit back and watch those who don't have it pass by wondering why their lives are so bad."
I choose to believe that common sense isn't dead just yet; at least not in all of us.
Those who watch the Kardashians, though . . . well that's another story.
Josh Beavers is the publisher of the Minden Press-Herald. He is a two-time recipient of the Best Newspaper Column award given annually by the Louisiana Press Association.