The absence of common sense today


We have lost all ability to think on our feet and use common sense and I put that back onto teaching a complete generation not to think but to press buttons. I am not going to mention the name of the establishment I was in or what I was ordering because that would give it all away and my purpose is not to disparage any business. I just want to make a point.

I handed the clerk a $2.99 coupon and additionally ordered a drink which was $1.50. She pushed the buttons and said, “That will be $11.42.” She was dead serious. I told her that could not possibly be correct. She went through the same process. “Oh, I’m sorry, it’s $7.48,” she said proudly. “Wrong again,” I responded.

It was then that I said to her, “forget the penny, round it off at $3. Add the $1.50 and that totals $4.50,” though it was, in reality $4.49. She was dumbfounded. She did not know what to do. She was pressing the buttons, but the numbers were coming out wrong and she did not have the common sense to realize both totals were way off.

She kept saying – “That’s how it comes out.” She had no solution to the problem.

None of that matters in the grand scheme of things. What it tells me is that common sense is not being taught, and because we have taught this generation to rely strictly on electronic devices, when the wrong information goes into them or the electronic devices fail, there is no immediate solution.

It saddens me that we have raised a generation unable to think on their feet. These are, unfortunately, the same people who sit across from friends in a restaurant and text them because they have no communication skills. I see empty eyes and the inability to actually reason things out. Not to sound as if my generation was more intelligent, but I can tell you that if someone told me one item was $2.99 and the other was $1.50, I would never have accepted $11.42 as the correct total. I would have apologized and said – “That can’t be right.”

Please go back and restore good old-fashioned math skills so that when the grid crashes, and the grid will crash, they will still be able to function.

According to Pearson, the United States has a “cognitive skills and educational attainment” score of 0.39, which makes the United States rank fourteenth out of forty countries ranked in that category. The top ten countries (and their scores) are:

1.South Korea (1.30)

2.Japan (1.03)

3.Singapore (0.99)

4.Hong Kong (0.96)

5.Finland (0.92)

6.United Kingdom (0.67)

7.Canada (0.60)

8.Netherlands (0.58)

9.Ireland (0.51)

10.Poland (0.50)

According to the research firm IPSOS Mori, the United States ranks second out of fourteen countries in general ignorance about social statistics such as teen pregnancy, unemployment rates, and voting patterns. Italy is the most ignorant of the fourteen countries.

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By Frank Lewis

[email protected]

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

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