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My father told me that hard work and common sense were the keys to success in life. And as I walked through the doors of current marketing on my first day, I reflected on his advice. What is common sense?

Common sense may be construed as the pursuit of non-stupidity. Interestingly a search for “stupid” on youtube yields hours of tear-inducing human situations caught on camera that may have been avoided had someone spoken up in the interest of common sense.

The Darwin Awards generated widespread popularity based on a seemingly universal notion of common sense that winners amply defied or ignored. And maybe that’s what the whole reality television thing is about as well. Watching other’s make mistakes and then basking in the warm glow of our own, more advanced, ability to avoid mishap (going on reality television probably being the first common sense step to not signing away your credibility as a sentient being).

In Common Sense Thomas Paine urged colonists to think rationally and yet unconventionally about their British rulers. His words came to be, paradoxically, the common logic on how to envision a world that is radically different. And before you assume that I’ve lost my copywriting mind, just remember how great a model that is for advertising success as well.

I guess that’s why I already feel at home here. The atmosphere is of a group of professionals not ready or willing to bow to what seems like common sense. I have noticed an abundance of rationality, but the nebulous and outdated notion of common sense has yet to make an appearance.

So, thanks for the advice dad. Common sense got me through driver’s education, African bus stations and an experimental adolescence with a few spare brain cells remaining. But the one thing I plan to leave at CM’s door is my sense that any creative work need be common. I just hope the euphoria of casting aside my common sense doesn’t lead to wetting the front of my pants, or eating out of the kitchen trash, because frankly, I have never done anything of the sort.

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Chaney Given

Chaney is a talented and accomplished designer and illustrator, who has expanded his skill set to include motion graphics and video editing. With nearly a decade of experience, his client work includes Waterstep, Baptist Health, the Archdiocese of Louisville Catholic Schools, First Harrison Bank, and many more