It did not, as many people believe, first appear in "The Times" but in an American newspaper, "The Indianapolis Star". There are various versions doing the rounds.
The one I received is still worth reading
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 5 stepbrothers;
- I Know My Rights
- I Want It Now
- Someone Else Is To Blame
- I'm A Victim
- Pay me for Doing Nothing
Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.
I mourn his loss but that is not the reason for repeating it here. There was an "accident" yesterday. A car went into a much larger stationary vehicle legally parked in a rest bay on the side of one of the major highways going north.
The police spent all day at the scene. They will no doubt be back there today. The marks will be there for some time to come. Two families will be mourning the loss of the two men travelling in the car. The owner of the other vehicle will be facing a loss of income and one of his employees will be wondering whether he has a job.
There will be many other people involved. They will all be involved in cleaning up the mess, not just at the scene but in other people's lives. It will be a long, slow, complex process. It may be years before it is all sorted out and there are people who will never fully recover from the loss of a child, husband, father, brother, cousin and so on.
The rest of us look on this from afar. We behave as if it doesn't have anything to do with us - although we should be far more aware of the cost to the taxpayer. (The cost will run to several million dollars.)
When I read that "obituary" again I thought about it and realised there is "stepbrother" missing. His name is, "It's Not My Responsibility".
Worth thinking about?