When somebody is referred to as lacking “common sense,” it is usually all about the lack of “knowledge.” Parents scold their children’s disorderly behavior by telling them that they should know better, and that they should learn some common sense. Friends tease each other about the lack of “common sense” when the other does not know about something that is considered to be “common knowledge.”
However, Eiichi Shibusawa felt that common sense was not about knowing or not knowing, but rather that “complete common sense is about the balanced development of knowledge, emotion, and will.”
Eiichi thought that having a high level of knowledge did not assure common sense, unless that high level knowledge is well balanced with a high level of emotion as well as a high level of will.
Of course without the anchor of knowledge or will, being too emotional is like being a piece of driftwood that swirls in the ocean tide. On the other hand, Eiichi thought that having too much will-power, without the perspectives offered by knowledge or emotional sympathy, just leads to stubbornness.
The interesting thing about this definition of common sense -- a balance of knowledge, emotion, and will -- is that it implies there is not one single common sense that should be accepted by all of the diverse people in our society. However, if each were able to balance his knowledge, emotion and will, then each person would have his own common sense.
If the world is filled with common sense people, Eiichi felt, then it is only natural to conclude that our world at large would also function with common sense. This obviously is an ideal, as there are countless cases where the world does not function as though there is common sense. However, this is certainly an important ideal that we should keep dear to our hearts.