The Norman Transcript


March 20, 2014

Common sense vs. book smart

NORMAN — Which of the two is more important, common sense or book smart?

If you are uncertain which you would choose, take a moment to consider whether you would prefer to deal with the former or the latter on a daily basis? Before you decide, contemplate the following examples of each type.

A person who has common sense is believed to possess the ability to have good judgment when it comes to making decisions, particularly quick decisions. That man or woman tends to go with his or her gut feeling on the matter at hand and acts decisively. In other words, they have what some refer to as horse sense. Sound practical judgment independent of specialized knowledge or training — normal native intelligence.

Of course, the skeptics will ask, “What makes horses so smart?” In fact, after watching horses meander around the pasture, gorging themselves until a trip to the veterinarian is required to deal with an equine constipation problem. The skeptics may be right to question that long-held assumption.

If you ask a veterinarian, this situation is not uncommon. A television science program dealt in vivid detail and living color with just such an event. Once the problem was diagnosed, the horse had to be anesthetized. Its belly was opened, the distended intestines were removed and an incision was made in the intestines and the contents flushed out. After the procedure, the brilliant horse was sewn up. Makes a person want to be a large animal veterinarian, right?

Perhaps horse sense is not the best way to approach a problem. However, it may not be necessary to go through brain damage overthinking the matter. And do not discount that little voice which prompts you to act a certain way. There are times that going with your gut is the perfect solution.

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