Follow rules or use common sense?
As I raise my 4 kids I often set up rules for them to follow. These rules are designed to keep them safe but also to teach them respect. Some of the rules we put in place as parents are only partial rules. The remaining part of the rules comes with allowing our kids to think through the process to come up with choices of their own. Giving our kids a chance to think is important to help them grow as individuals. They’re often taught these things in school as well. Do you have the same rules in your family?
My son and I were having a conversation recently where he said one of his teachers said there was no such thing as common sense. Well, everyone’s entitled to their opinion, right? I believe in common sense and I can even prove it exists. Common sense essentially means the same opinion is shared by many people; the majority. Part of this comes from experiences we’ve shared and the other is through maturity. For example, common sense would tell us not to put your hand into the blades of a lawnmower that is in operation. Note to self.
Let’s apply common sense while driving. Most drivers will attempt to stop their vehicle when the traffic light changes from green to amber (yellow) or red. Most people. That puts that in the category of common sense. Most drivers will drive in a lane that is ideal for their own purpose. Most people, but not this particular driver in the red vehicle in the curb lane in this photo. We were heading in the same direction for a while so I stayed back to see if they wanted to change lanes out of the snowy lane into the lane I was in, but they didn’t. Perhaps they were about to make a right turn, but they didn’t.
I know many people are often taught to drive in the right lane. That’s normally a good rule, but in the situation of a snow covered right lane, why not choose a lane that would provide better traction and less risk? I remember evaluating a student at Young Drivers of Canada many years ago in similar road conditions. They needed to pass this evaluation in order to successfully complete our program. After completing a left turn at traffic lights, they decided to change lanes to the right, even though the right lane was difficult to drive in because of the snow. They decided to follow the “rule” of staying to the right.
After our evaluation was completed, I asked them why they went into a lane that was difficult to drive in. They said; “That’s the rule”. I countered by asking them if the light just turned green but the intersection was blocked, would they try to enter. They said no because it didn’t make any sense. Then they smiled at me. They then realized it was up to them to think things through and to use common sense.
I’d like to say the light bulb with this student was then turned on, but I would be wrong. The light bulb is always on. The light bulb is on a dimmer switch and we just have to get people to learn when to become brighter, so to speak. When the majority of people use the same sense, it’s common. Now it’s up to you to use this common sense to make good decisions while driving. I hope this make sense to at least most of you.