By Sandy Welch Thompson

The good Lord gave us some senses:  Sight, smell, taste, touch, hear.

As simple of a concept as it is to understand, we do not use all of them successfully as individual gifts, let alone in combination with another.

For instance, I could swear when I get in my car sometimes, a male cat has marked their territory in it.  Turns out, it is just the lovely scent of my kids’ soccer gear.  Very similar smell.  Not good.

Another example:  I can hear my kids in the other room being loud and assume they are arguing…not often, but once in awhile I am mistaken.  I find out they are just trying to talk over the television that is turned up way too loud.

For touch, I have occasionally reached in my purse to find something squishy and discovered it was a tube of chapstick that lost its lid.

Taste?  Well that one is spot on for me for the most part.  When I buy a candy bar, I cannot remember I time that I didn’t enjoy it as such.

Sight is a little iffy for me because without my glasses, I can get a few things confused.   I can look at a shirt and love the look of it.  That is…until I put it on, only to be disappointed.  My eyes had in fact deceived me

People often refer to having a sixth sense.  No, I don’t see dead folk, so it isn’t that kind.  The sixth sense I am referring to is the most simple if all…or one would think.

I am talking about common sense.

Common sense really isn’t that common.  It is interesting they even call it that.  I have permanent lines between my eyebrows from being made aware that it is so true when people say common sense isn’t a flower that grows in everyone’s garden.

Some folks never learned to exercise that sense.  It died before it ever made it out of the seedling stage.

I remember my dad asking me to do something and then just looking at me because I wasn’t clueing in on what he meant.  Usually followed with a head shake and a, “Damn, Sandy-nevermind.  Let me get a 2-year old to explain it to ya.”

Once in awhile he would say, “I swear you must be the one that looks for corners in a round room.”

That kind of parenting made me be a bit more aware of what common sense was.  It also allowed me to learn sarcasm.

Sarcasm is also an interesting item.  Though not a sense, sarcasm is born from people having common sense.

It is truly amazing that some just don’t get it. Sarcasm that is.  Lots of communication gets poorly translated if one party has a gift for sarcasm and well, common sense…but the other doesn’t.

I don’t get those people.  I was raised with a lot of sarcasm tempered with humor and love.  It allowed me to learn to laugh WITH myself when I don’t catch a joke right away.  It also has gotten me in trouble as the understanding of sarcasm isn’t always mutual.  But even on the receiving end, I don’t get offended.

I sorta feel sorry for those who don’t ‘get it’ or get offended.  Life is too short for that crap.

How do you go through life without that common sense?  I have fallen prey at times to have that blank stare but dang!  Some people have it all the time and put the onus on the other party.

I’ll be honest, it can be fun when sarcasm is done right.  Watching someone try to figure me out when I can see there is no connecting the dots to my verbiage.  It is completely frustrating.  I am glad I am surrounded by smart people and smart alecs.  They make me enjoy all of my other senses even more.

My kids are like this too.  Wouldn’t trade it.  Lord knows it keeps me on my toes but I am glad they don’t have blank stares.  They give back as good as they get, and I just know it strengthens their independence.

That common sense makes for strong critical thinking capabilities.  It thrills me when they stump me with things they say.

I laugh out loud because I SENSE they are growing intellectually when they spew some sarcasm…exercising that common sense approach in a unique way.

Now I do not advocate disrespect but lighten up world.  Enjoy learning other people and their differences compared to you.  Yes we live in a harsh world.

Truth is, we DO get laughed at.  Laugh along with those doing it.  That throws people off.  Then add a touch of sarcasm back.  You will be amazed at how many of your senses are less…well…sensitive.

Perspective, not perception, is everything.