Wednesday, May 25, 2011

What makes you smarter than the rest?

The philosophy of one century is the common sense of the next
- Henry Ward Beecher

For some reason I was thinking about old timey smoking the other day. Way back in the days of yore when it was normal and even encouraged. And then I thought someone HAD to know. In their gut. Someone, many in fact!, must have been sitting in yet another smoke-filled room and thought to themselves Ugh! This is just gross and I can't breathe and I want fresh air, and I don't care if it's good for you, this is awful. Someone is wrong.

I feel that way constantly. I look around and I think I must SO CLEARLY be living in the wrong century when there are people who still care about gay people falling in love, who deny evolution, who believe in torturing other humans, who spend their time watching Snooki. There has to be some future time period where people care about what's important and not what's distracting. Where they aren't wedded to their beliefs without the desire to question them.

But I know that everyone feels that way about something, so I really want to know what you're something is. What's your thing that, as the quote says, is mere philosophy now, but you know for certain will be common sense one day? What thing do you think or know that other people don't think or know as clearly that will come to light one day? Tell us your thing and then we'll all be a little step closer to the common sense of the next generation.



Leslie said...

Yeah, for me it's the gay marriage thing. Like really, love and togetherness and commitment to another person is bad?
Ok, crazypants...

It just amazes me that so many people think that gay marriage will destroy the entire institution of marriage. It just feels so intrinsically WRONG to me to tell someone he can't love who he loves. Ugh!

Shannon said...

I work in a movement disorders clinic. Basically, if something moves in a way it shouldn't, you come see us. Most of what we see are Parkinson's patients, but we get people whose hands tremor only when they play certain instruments, people who walk like they're drunk when they're completely sober, heads that are stuck looking over the left shoulder and everything else in between. One gentleman came in with some pretty unique movements when he walked. He was coming to see us because the doctor before him had suggested he "see a psychiatrist who specializes in getting the gay out." This gentleman is straight. Not only that, if the previous doctor had ordered an MRI (I know, I super rare test that no one knows about), he would have seen a lesion in an area of the brain that coordinates our muscles when we walk. If you're in this alternate "What the hell is going on?" world, then I'm right there with you.

Sarah Berry said...

Shannon, I LOVE that perspective. It's so fascinating to think that while others of us have mental or emotional ways that trigger our feelings of "what the hell is going on," you have physical and visual reminders of that.

Such an interesting angle.

Ouiser said...

While I wholeheartedly second the previous comments, I'm going to add this one to the mix.

A lack of a sense of responsibility. For one's health. For one's situation. For one's community.

Just a general sense of "nothing is my fault...but if it's good, I did it."

Does that make sense?

die Frau said...

ABSOLUTELY makes sense, Ouiser.

I would definitely agree with gay rights in general (how do so many forget about the separation of church and state so easily, among other ridiculous anti-gay sentiments?) needing to become common sense.

I also have to go with Ouiser--we seem to have lost a sense of responsibility and ACCOUNTABILITY. As husband T says, when did it become a character flaw?

I'd also like to see us making it commonplace to not THROW EVERYTHING AWAY. Get rid of plastic bags, stop buying and throwing away bottled water, realize that our planet is not filled with inexhaustible resources. I could go on, but you know what I mean.

p.s. Scarlet, I took a fascinating class on the tobacco industry in college and the creators/doctors knew as early as the mid-60s that something was wrong with smoking. But the ads are priceless.

Quinton Quilter said...


I have a couple of thoughts on this. When my son (J) had a son (C) I commented that if J asked C a question J had to listen to his answer - in other words he needed to respect C enough to listen to him. I hear parents say, "Do you want to go to bed?" and then are angry with their offspring when they say "no" - well if you ask then you must respect the response otherwise don't ask.

I think that being kind is the key. It goes a long way. Driving, in a store, with your spouse and children. Why is so hard for people to be kind? Are they so insecure that they have to be rude and callous? My heart breaks when I hear a parent speak meanly to their child. It seems that loving your neighbor as yourself could go a long way to "fixing" our world right now.

Laurie Noe said...

Most people believe that you need a PhD. to teach college level students but just about anyone can take care of young children. I know this is not the case. At least they can't take care of them well.
I am not certain that you need a doctorate, but I believe that you must be extremely knowledgeable in child development theories; understand how culture impacts child development; be skilled at implementing theories and practices around language and literacy development, conflict resolution, concept development, and social/emotional development; and be reflective in your practice with young children. This takes intellect, training, and practice. Eventually society will come to realize that if you spend more money on those who work with the youngest learners and and their families -and then expect more from those educators, we can turn around our failing educational systems

Wonderland said...

Quinton, I actually was going to say the exact same thing! I come at it from a slightly different angle. I haven't instinctual feeling that we are all interconnected, that we are all family, that what I do affects the whole world, not just me. Therefore I want to put only kindness and hope and joy in the world. I really wish others would understand this. Kindness need to become a priority, a personality trait that gets praised the same way attractiveness and intelligence get praised now

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