Why isn’t common sense and common decency so common anymore?

Sometimes the terms “common sense” and “common decency” baffle me.

While I do understand why they exist and why they should exist, what is perplexing to me is that it isn’t as “common” as I thought they were. You’d think that something as simple as compassion or good sense or prudence or enterprise (the Filipino term diskarte comes to mind) should be so common place that you need not even explain why things should be or are the way they are.

It turns out that it isn’t; some things aren’t as “common” as we were taught they were.

Is it ignorance? Weren’t they taught properly? Didn’t their parents or mentors counsel them? Is it a matter of not being taught? Or is it a matter of not imbibing what they were taught?

Is it selfishness? Would they rather inconvenience other people than do the right thing so that they’d get what they want?

Is it laziness?

And as a teacher, I find this very depressing. You can mentor your wards to the best of your ability. You can lead by example, guide them, even cajole them until you’re blue. But nothing will matter until they accept what is true and good. I guess a mentor’s greatest tragedy is the realization that you cannot teach everyone. A friend once said, “You cannot save everyone.” You can only choose your battles, pick the ones worth saving and do the best that you can.


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