Self evident common sense?

01 Aug
This line of thought began at community soccer this past Wednesday evening. As a proud side-note, I lasted a full one and a half hour of running after a ball. The first night a month earlier? – Forty minutes and I had to bow out or get oxygen tanks and a defibrillator. OK, back to the recognition moment. In the game, one of my teammates passed the ball back to the goal keeper (only hockey has goalies it seems) and he picked it up in order to send it back out with a throw or a kick. He was immediately vociferously corrected by at least two players. “You can’t pick it up” and “you can’t pick it up if your own player passes it back to you.” 
The keeper replied that he had not known that rule, and an opposition player said “It’s common sense.”
And my thought was “Really?” And the conversation turned trash talky, as such moments in competition often do.
To a soccer aficionado, steeped in the game, sure, it is obvious, it is normal. To a forgetful novice community soccer participant? Not so much.
What is common sense? What is really self evident? What is evident to me is that the more we are resolutely ensconced in self-evident truths we are used to, we end up in conflict with those who do not hold our truths to be as self evident as we do. Common sense may never have been common. It certainly isn’t now.
As I was putting this post together I read a column by Peggy Noonan in which she explores the same thing with relation to the pitch on which politics is played out: “people grow up in a certain environment and tend to think that environment, and its assumptions, are continuing and will always continue.”
What if, just what if, the best common sense is that our common sense needs flexibility and needs humility, and needs challenging now and then so a new commoner sense can be found?
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Posted by on August 1, 2014 in Uncategorized


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