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Growing Leaders Blog

on Leading the Next Generation


Today, I Mourn the Death of a Former Celebrity

A clever and pointed obituary was written and published around the world. Evidently, it struck a cord with folks in Europe and Asia as well as America. I join these mourners, who grieve the loss of a once-loved celebrity. Hope you enjoy the memoir below…

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.

(This piece is the work of Lori Borgman and was first published in the Indianapolis Star on March 15, 1998.)


  1. Michelle Weidenbenner on June 22, 2016 at 6:17 am

    How creative! And sad. I was surprised it was initially written so long ago. I didn’t realize these problems have been going on for so long!

  2. Beth Bartolotta on June 22, 2016 at 10:30 am

    No truer words have been spoken – I only hope a resurrection will occur for him some day!

  3. Miss_Pshaw on June 22, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    I agree with this. EXCEPT that 60 Minutes proved that the coffee spiller had third-degree burns and was hospitalized for days but the media distilled the story to sound bites and she lived the last years of her life lampooned by Seinfeld and every talk show.

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Today, I Mourn the Death of a Former Celebrity