This week, our loose theme is 'engaging the senses.' We all know about using the 5 physical senses – smell, taste, touch, sight, hearing – to interact with the world around us. In the fragrance community, the most obvious place to start is the sense of smell. But we don’t want to start with the obvious, so we’re taking a left turn (literally) into a little-explored sense – common sense.
Common sense is something we all have on both innate and learned levels.
Innately, we use our instincts – our ‘Spidey-sense’ for what’s right or wrong. Instinctually, self-preservation keeps ourselves out of harm’s way and preservation of species keeps our fellow humans from harm. We’re genetically coded to have empathy and use our emotions and feelings, in lockstep with our 5 physical senses, to ‘read’ the environment around us. Is the atmosphere charged, is there something exciting, is there something wrong? Some people call it ‘reading a room’ – understanding how the people around you are responding to events as they happen.
On a learned level, we have moral values – things we’re taught by our parents, siblings, schooling, our communities, and society as a whole. This is part of our shared moral compass for what’s right and wrong, what’s legal and illegal, what’s good and bad. Some of this is a personal taste, but most is societal teachings and behavior. Some people look at this though filters – the filter of law, the filter of religion, the filter of written and unwritten rules. However you look at it, common sense is real, shared and tangible.
So, what is happening with common sense today?
While we like to think the most people exercise common sense as they navigate through life, some people are getting confused about what information is real or not real. Is social media to blame? Partially. But there are also lots of other sources – the 24/7 news cycle creates information that is posed as ‘news’ but is really not. Word of mouth notoriously spreads incorrect information that is diluted with each mouth that speaks it. Our political system is spreading misinformation on both sides of the fence as they attempt to reframe what candidates stand for in the worst possible light. The bottom line is that it’s on us, the consumers of information, to do research, make informed fact-based decisions and use common sense. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. If it seems fishy, do some fact-finding. If you think it’s illegal, immoral, or generally bad, don’t participate.
We’re a day away from the election, and there is much disinformation and misinformation on the candidates for all levels of office. Don’t listen to the smear campaigns – do research into how the candidates stand on the issues. Find the facts, not opinions. Discern what is real and not real. Listen to science. Listen to credible journalism. Listen to actual results. Is your life / wealth / employment / health / family / employment / business better now than it was 2 years ago, 4 years ago? Is our country / your state / your county / your city / your community better now than it was then? Are we headed in the right direction according to your measures? Are we headed in the right direction according to your personal goals? Are we heading in the right direction according to your gut instinct? Are we heading in the right direction according to actual measurements?
If not, then use your vote to make change happen. In the next 24 hours, nothing is more critical than to exercise your right (duty, power, privilege) to vote. Here’s what’s at stake:
- Your freedoms
- Your health and wellness
- Your financial well-being
- Your employment
- Your children’s future
- Our civilized society
- Our country’s standing in the world
- Our economic future
We’ve already used our common sense to early vote, avoiding the lines on Tuesday. We implore you to use your common sense and vote out the candidates who have actively engaged in putting big business interests ahead of human interests, who have actively worked against human rights, gender equality, racial justice and LGBTQ+ equality, who are actively working against freedom of religion, right to marry, healthcare, senior care, access to voting, and right to make reproductive decisions.
Now more than ever, we need common sense, factual information, and to exercise our right to choose representation that reflects today’s society, not a 1950’s, 1850’s or 1750’s imagination of society. And please, please vote!
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