Connie Ambrose was known as America’s Explainer-in-Chief for the sensible wisdom she dispensed in her weekly It Seems to Me column which had become the favorite of all Americans. A new phrase had been coined: Connie Sense.

Connie had only made it to the 10th grade in high school when her father died, and she needed to help her mom with the family farm. While Connie’s formal education was limited, she had an insatiable curiosity. She pestered the local internet provider to extend connections through her valley. When she wasn’t doing her farm work she was on her computer.

Her column began as a letter to the editor of her weekly paper. She gave her views on an issue using her unique approach to sensibility. A former resident who still got the paper contacted Connie to see if she would let him distribute the letter. She agreed, and it didn’t take long for requests for Connie’s views on other issues. That was the birth of her column.

Connie’s perspectives on issues came from her own sensibility. When asked how she came to her understanding of complex issues, she explained, “I’m alone a lot. Some of my best ideas come when I’m riding on my tractor. Feeding my pigs gives me a lot of sense of what is going on in Congress. Issues just seem clearer when you don’t have time to watch TV.”

In fact, TV networks had long sought Connie as a guest panelist and she refused. “My work is here”, she explained. “If people like my thinking, that’s fine. But I don’t want to push my views into their homes.”

No one knew of the political party Connie favored. Her columns were liked and disliked by politicians of every political leaning. She never mentioned a politician by name, but her column could deflate a politician’s posturing quicker than anything.

Connie was a force to bringing back common sense to government policies. In fact, many of her columns became a starting point for reaching a common ground for legislation.

Connie had an intelligence trait called sensibility. She had a way of thinking about issued and making connections that were highly perceptive. She could see future consequences where others saw only quick fixes. She could identify the critical dimension of a problem where others were often absorbed by its complexity.

How do we develop that trait? There are no sensibility keys to teach. Sensibility results from how you live your life and is largely influenced by:

  • Your curiosity
  • Your time alone
  • Your ability to see what others don’t
  • Your ability to ask questions that only you can answer for yourself
  • Your ability to find connections that are embedded in issues
  • Your ability to eliminate needless complexity and target the most important


These sensibility keys result when you ignore what others think and come up with your own ideas. You can start developing your sensibility by saying: “It seems to me…”                               

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“Nearly all our originality comes from the stamp that time impresses upon our sensibility.” – Charles Baudelaire (Poet)

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