Desperation travels faster than common sense.
(adapted from the quote "Apparently desperation travels faster online than common sense," Christina Katz, The Prosperous Writer, Issue 19, May 2010 .)
It seems to me that almost everything travels faster than common sense. Desperation, selfishness, fear... All sorts of bad attitudes and wrong thoughts beat out common sense to the decision finish line in our brains. And thus we end up doing an amazing variety of stupid things rather than the smart thing.
Common sense is a result of being grounded firmly in objective reality, with our feet set securely on solid truth. Fear, on the other hand, is rooted in subjectivity. Fear tells us we are not grounded and are not secure and safe, so we better run. Desperation tells us we're not running fast enough. And selfishness tells us we are rooted and grounded on truth, when we're merely standing on our own changeable perceptions. No wonder all kinds of problems erupt in our lives when we act out of selfishness, fear, and desperation.
We live in an age when the voice of common sense is drowned out by angry shouting...people trying to make their opinions heard, without consideering what they are saying, who they are saying it to, and how it will be received. Common sense requires us to see the big picture, but we live in an age when everything is shrunk down to a narrow view...what we can see from our own limited sightline. And sadly, many people never seem to notice the difference.
Maybe others can live that way without any sense of loss. But as a writer, I can't live that way, because I know that every word I write must be aimed at effective, illuminating, persuasive conversation. It is my life's role to consider what I say and who I say it to. It is my role to make sure I am not just speaking, but that I am understood--a far harder thing than shouting. Perhaps that's why so many people are loud, and yet they say nothing.
But I refuse to operate that way. I am standing up for common sense in my writing, in my interactions with people, in everything I do. Common sense is worth fighting for. And the enemies of common sense...fear, desperation, and selfishness...are worth fighting against.
I invite you to join me in the fight. You'll find it is worth it.
(Thanks to Christina Katz at The Prosperous Writer for the inspiration. Find her blog on writing at http://www.christinakatz.com/.)
Copyright (c) 2010 by Michele Chiappetta. All rights reserved.