Obituary for Common Sense

Today I had a friend forward one of those emails. We all get them. Sometimes they’re funny, sometimes they make you think, and sometimes they fill your heart. Well, today the email received did a combination of all three. I’d like to thank Lori Borgman for writing this so many years ago, and if she comes across this post, would like to say I am posting this because I loved it so much.

Words from Lori This piece was first published March 15, 1998 in the Indianapolis Star. It has been “modified” and “edited” by others and circulated on the Internet, even sent to me several times. Imagine my surprise to see it attributed to some guy named Anonymous. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I take having my work circulated on the web as a compliment.

An Obituary printed in the London Times

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

  • Knowing when to come in out of the rain
  • Why the early bird gets the worm
  • Life isn’t always fair
  • and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place–reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.

He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, I Want It Now,Someone Else Is To Blame, and I’m A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on.. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

6 Comments on “Obituary for Common Sense”

  1. This is hilarious! I remember almost all of those incidents and have no doubt as to why Common Sense has departed us. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yep. Sometimes I think I’ve misplaced common sense, but when I look at the world around me, realize I’ve still retained more than I’ve lost. 😉
      Thanks for stopping by.

  3. So true. The reference to spilt coffee was my ire at the time. And the matter of criminals having it better than victims, well, suffice it to say that we as a society harbor the civil rights of those that would so easily violate the civil rights of others. We’ve politically corrected ourselves into a corner. *sigh*

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