The 10 Commandments of Common Sense



I like the column entitled “Common Sense” of my fellow columnist, Ed Yu, in this newspaper last week. Because it is what I want to impart to my family especially to my grandchildren and others, I am hereby quoting it. I hope Mr. Yu will not mind.

Among my collections of books is a paperback copy of Hal Urban’s “The 10 Commandments of Common Sense,” that I bought from Book Sale for a pittance. The commandments, wisdom from the Scriptures for people of all beliefs, are practical virtues that we ought to practice in our daily lives. Although easier said than done, it takes simple common sense to live with.

Urban’s commandments are divided into  two groups: The first group tells of five things the Scriptures teach us to avoid because they’re bad for us, while the second group speaks of five things the Bible tells us to do because they’re good for us.

The first five commandments, the root of all our flaws, are: (1) Don’t be seduced by popular culture. It prevents you from thinking for yourself; (2) Don’t fall in love with money and possessions. It  will make you greedy and shallow; (3) Don’t use destructive language. It hurts others as well as yourself; (4) Don’t judge other people. It’s better to work on your own faults; (5) Don’t let anger get out of control. It can wreck relationship and ruin lives.

The last five, the root of all our virtues, are: (6) Keep a positive outlook in life. It’s the first step toward joy; (7) Bring out the best in other people. It’s better to build than to tear down; (8) Have impeccable integrity. It brings peace of mind and a reputation of honor; (9) Help those in need. It really is better to give than to receive; (10) Do everything in love. It’s the only way to find true peace and fulfillment.

In sum, Urban’s summarized his 10 commandments, thus: Love God, Be Good. Do Good, Love Others.

Speaking of common sense, I’ve read an interesting obituary about the passing of Common Sense. I’m quoting it in full:

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, please pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.


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