Many of you won’t know this, but in creating Acacia Grove Guesthouse, I was project manager for 11 months of alterations and renovations. I worked with a contractor, a great guy from North of the UK…slightly more Northern than my Manchester, UK origins, but no less of a character and a good, decent soul.
This work actually suited me; as I have always been curious as to how the world works – in short I like learning about new things. And the contractor and his team…well they were basically all of them born teachers…happy to pass on their knowledge.
I could fill an entire blog with posts of our escapades…looking back now, I cannot see how we actually got the work done, but it did. Working with Sam (Not his real name), well for the first time in my life I was happy in the workplace.
I was happy to get up and go to work in the morning…I really was. It was a different life, and somehow, a more ‘honest’ and fullfilling form of work than I had ever done working behind a desk and putting systems in place for someone else – solving excuse the language, but let’s call it what it was – someone else’s ‘Fuck ups!’ and pandering to other, lazy peoples ideas of ‘what a system should do so they can do less work!’
Maybe it was the end dream of building a guesthouse and running a successful business…watching it all come together from nothing; moulding something. Maybe it was the fact that for once, I was doing a more physical job as opposed to a mental one – for once I could actually get stuck in and feel needed; I could actually make decisions and stick by them without having to report to higher management and wait for acknowledgement or approval. Whatever it was, the lessons I learned working shoulder to shoulder with Sam will stay with me for the rest of my days.
The chief one I want to share today is the title of this blog…
“Common sense is not all that Common!”
I don’t think a day went past when Sam did not either exclaim this loudly in his thick Yorkshire Accent, or mutter it to himself…or even shout it at one of his laborers!
Between the two of us, we even agreed that ‘Common sense” is actually miss-named! It should be named “Rare Sense”: as so few people seem to have it these days!
And having it yourself is not an asset or even a gift, as you still have to put up with all the useless people who don’t have it! Or even worse, the ones who seem to have it but fail miserably to employ it in daily life!
Now, let me stop you all there…I am not saying I am perfect. I have made my fair share of mistakes in my time – some would say even MORE than my share. Like all people, I have things I regret doing, and people I regret wronging in the process. I am perfectly capable of making even more mistakes in the future. I have to tried to do better – to apologize to those I have wronged and moved on, but sometimes those brutal and in some cases, near fatal decisions we make – can haunt us for years to come…possibly even until our dying day.
All I am saying is this…the youth can be forgiven a lot easier for stupid mistakes than we can. And yet, the supposed wisdom that comes from age is not present in many of the learned and supposedly more mature people we see today?
When you make a mistake and you are older…do you not find people…indeed the whole world…somewhat more critical? And I myself am guilty of this – far too often. It seems to me that one can hold a person blessed with the experience of age to a higher level than one can a youngster.
Yet the youth of today…some the things I have seen…some of things they still do…amaze even me. I won’t go into too many specifics here, but one incident in springs oh so fondly to mind.
We had more or less finished the renovations…typical Bedfordview, had no water on a Friday evening for me to have a shower. No worries as Bedfordview are notorious for water problems. Saturday morning I woke up to a river of water cascading down the driveway. It was literally bubbling up from the pavers!
Well, with the help of my trusty gardener, we lifted the pavers and found it was the water feed for the old cottage we had demolished. Now…the system was supposed to be capped off…and it was capped…BUT…the cap was not tightened!!! How is this possible that a career builder….a paver and a plumber with probably 60 years of experience between them…could forget such a basic concept!
“Common sense is NOT all that common!” It echoes in your mind.
And I see it time and time again! I heard recently of a family of five going on a caravan holiday – that never checked the spare tire of the towing vehicle or the caravan! This I could not forgive; as apart from the basics knowledge that everyone has…all the TV adverts etc – “Before a long trip in your car, Check the spare wheel, tire pressure and alignment!” – We have all seen these TV adverts.
The most unforgivable part of this…the head of the family was an Engineer!!! If anyone should have known better…he should have!
“Common sense is NOT all that common!” It echoes in your mind.
Hehe…it’s like a mantra…like a prayer almost that echoes in one’s mind. You have to admit…it certainly does help explain a few things in life.
I could talk for AGES on examples of common sense, or as the tone of this blog has gone…the lack thereof. And I sure you, dear readers would have plenty to say in such a regard – post a few in the comments
I will however try and leave on this article on a high note. Whilst researching for this article, I came up with a great video that explains how to apply some measure of common sense to everyday life – parents show this to your children please!!!
If the goal of a life lived and lived well, is to constantly try to improve and better one’s self, this video and these 5 steps detailed below may go a long way in helping you do just that. At the very least, it may stop you as an individual from making some stupid, catastrophic, expensive and potentially lethal mistakes in your daily life? – I have added my snippets of wisdom to the 5 points listed below.
Comment and let me know if I have hit the mark?
The 5 steps…
Common sense is critical to mankind’s survival. We may not have to deal with what cavemen dealt with but we still need common sense. Improve Your Common Sense
Watch the video yourself and even subscribe to the channel…Get more confident with Aaron Marino.
Until next time,
James ‘Picasso” Fitzpatrick