From the Publisher: Steve Gilbert is a dear “old” friend. First met him when he was DJ on local WBIB-AM radio around 1979. We worked together for over 30 years on so many Commercial Videos, marketing projects, Cable TV Systems and other such business projects, that – truth be told, I can’t remember them all. Steve is the Director of the Montevallo Chamber Of Commerce. Always we remain close and discuss many topics, as “old” friends tend to do. When I recently saw the latest edition of his publication, “The Chamber Chatter“, I asked him if I could share it with the readers of “The Bibb Voice”. He agreed. – Please Enjoy.
Oh yes, Steve is right about John Prine! His song, “Paradise”, always makes me think of all the old historic coal mines that once dotted the area in Bibb County to the North of Schultz Creek. Just saying.
By: Steve Gilbert, Executive Director
Montevallo Chamber of Commerce
“It don’t make much sense, that common sense; don’t make no sense no more.” Those words are the chorus to the song Common Sense by one of my all-time favorite song writers, John Prine. I was introduced to his music by a high school friend back in the 70s. His music spoke to me. It has resonated through my soul many times over the years. Recently, the lyrics flooded my mind, especially when I thought about how crazy the times we live in have become.
Everywhere you turn, someone is on the attack, arguing that their point of view is the only one. The other guy is responsible, and their political party has all the answers. Just turn on the news. It is one 24 hour a day argument, a very passionate one, I might add. Social media finger pointing and fear mongering are today’s methods of debate. I find that most of them lack substance and have lost any semblance of civility. With so much shouting and discourse among the masses, it is no wonder I find myself asking: “Where does the truth really lie?” In asking that question, I was reminded of a quote from Sir Winston Churchill: “Truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it. Ignorance may deride it. Malice may distort it. But there it is.” It came from his War Memoirs and was no doubt tempered by his experiences during World War II. It sure offers some common sense for today’s society. That really is what has been on my mind lately, the need for a little common sense. I have stepped back and tried to look at what is going on locally, nationally, and abroad. I have decided to take my heart out of my head and my head out of my heart in search of a clearer perspective.
In my younger years, I did not have a grasp on wisdom. I really did not have the experiences to know the difference between knowledge and wisdom. My grandfather Gilbert had a saying: “The man has got a lot of book learning, but lacks the sense to get out of the rain.” It was his way of saying knowledge without common sense (wisdom) is useless. It took me years to understand; he was a very wise man. What he lacked in formal education; he gained in experience. My parents made sure I had the opportunity to study and acquire knowledge. Along with my grandfather, they taught me how to use it. It was one of the greatest lessons I ever learned.
I think we could all use a little wisdom (common sense) right now on how to continue to move this community and our nation forward. I am concerned that simply having knowledge is not enough, because in the end it is when and how you use your experience that really matters.