I confess: I’m not one to read directions. Ever. But while hanging a mirror recently I happened to glance at the instructions on the back of the OOK package for picture wire (Will not fray! Will not rust!). I saw the best instructions ever:
Use Common Sense when hanging your pictures.
So simple. So elegant. “Use common sense.” What would it be like if we could use this as the advice on everything? Three-word tort reform. No more fine print disclaimers. And a vote for self-confidence, trusting our tummies.
Common Sense Tips
Herewith, an offbeat and highly personal collection:
- In “Common Sense Education – Or, Rules of Thumb for Life” UVA’s Meredith Jung-En Woo quotes American philosopher George Santayana, covers “shrewd intelligence,” community”, and the hazards of trying to measure everything.
- Project Managers Alert! In Herding Cats, Glen B. Alleman tackles Ten Rules of Common Sense Program Management. They include (1) Put Together the Right Team (5) Manage Risk and (7) Manage Problems when They Appear. My favorite? (2) Execute or Suffer the Consequences.
- Though not a parent, I love the simple wisdom and breezy writing in commonsensemedia.org. Check Carolyn Knorr’s 5 ways to bring back rules after summer. Good for all of us adults, too. Less screen time and more real life.
- Please, stop “thinking outside the box.” I have yet to read Deborah Meadenbrook’s book “Common Sense Rules“ (and is Rules a noun here, or a verb? I’ll let you know once I’ve read it) but I really like her Business Cliches I Could Live Without.
- What about today’s hotspot, social media? Social Meteor’s Common Sense Rules suggest that employees’ use of social media shouldn’t cut down on productivity, and shouldn’t negatively impact the company. Simple.
- Common Sense Rules from the Governor of Svalbard (look it up) make sense for living lightly on the earth as well as for basic Arctic travel. Think “Be considerate of others” and “Help take care of the biodiversity. Do not pick flowers.”
Still, here’s one common sense rule you won’t find in any of these other blogs or books: “Do not leave the settlements without a suitable gun, and experience in using it.”
From now on, let’s just preface our instructions, fine print and disclaimers with this simple three-word phrase: use common sense.