An Old Friend Passes Away

by Unknown Author

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, by the name of Common Sense. Common Sense lived a long life but died in the United States from heart failure at the beginning of the new millennium. No one really knows how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He selflessly devoted his life to service in schools, hospitals, homes, factories, helping folks get jobs done without fanfare and foolishness. For decades petty rules, silly laws, and frivolous lawsuits held no power over Common Sense. He was credited with cultivating such valued lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, and that life isn't always fair. Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn), reliable parenting strategies (adults, not kids, are in charge), and it's okay to come in second. A veteran of the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, and the Technological Revolution, Common Sense survived cultural and educational trends including whole language, and "new math." But his health declined when he became infected with the "If-it-only-helps-one-person-it's-worth-it" virus. In recent decades his waning strength proved no match for the ravages of well intentioned, but overbearing regulations. He watched in pain as good people became ruled by self-seeking lawyers. His health rapidly deteriorated when schools endlessly implemented zero-tolerance policies. Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, a teen suspended for using a swish of mouthwash after lunch, and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student only worsened his condition. It declined even further when schools had to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student but could not inform the parents when a female student was pregnant and wanted an abortion. Finally, Common Sense lost his will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses, criminals received better treatment than their victims, and federal judges stuck their noses in everything from the Boy Scouts to professional sports. Finally, when a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot and was awarded a huge settlement, Common Sense gave up the ghost. Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility, and his son, Reason. He is survived by two stepbrothers: My Rights, and Ima Whiner. Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.