One of the most frequent descriptions we hear applied to people is that they possess a great deal of “common sense.”
We all know in a vague way what we mean by “common sense.” Let us see what it is in some detail, for it is possible to acquire this admirable character trait. Common sense implies a receptive mind, one able to take in the details of a job that has to be done, and one that refuses to be side-tracked. It implies keen observation plus the ability to distinguish between what is essential and what is unessential.
This ability leads on to the thing that distinguishes the common-sense man from the mere visionary-the capacity to look ahead and make plans based on facts and reasoning from cause to effect. Observations welded to a good memory can hardly fail to produce a measure of common sense, even by themselves. Will-power, of course, enters largely into the creation of common sense. A trained and powerful will means the ability to persist, to control emotion, and to review impulses and decisions in the light of cold reason.
As important an element as any is the sympathetic interest in his fellows invariably possessed by the man of common sense. In no other way can the wide knowledge of human nature be acquired that enables one to tackle human problems in ” a common-sense way.”
Self-control is, the outstanding mark of the man of common sense. For it is the root of the calmness in an emergency that makes its possessor the envy and admiration of all.