(Beyond) Reason

The landscape of emotional warfare has become real. Far down on the scale of human relationships, the highly personal that spawns bickering also splinters us. Where wholeness was perceived by some as possible, righteous or fearful fending for oneself has become the norm.

Emotional reasoning is a powerful weapon that can cause pain for everyone. Where can this go? The worst that can happen is it continues to escalate. The best that can happen is finding a way out that can bring us together.

Two things are needed: wanting the connectedness, which is natural, and being willing to build our critical thinking skills to discover what we share and build upon that.

We are social beings. What we imagine is individual action is in fact part of a larger field of reality. As social beings, we can thrive together. We can fit. We can morph individually and reshape the whole. But we need to work together to do so.

What this means is we can grow together, using our best gifts of being sensitized to our unity, investing our skills and beliefs in that unity.

But how do we think critically when emotions run so high? First of all, we acknowledge how we feel. We become conscious of it, aware that we are either grieving or celebrating or somewhere in between. Then we acknowledge that others may feel differently. Then we check our own assumptions. We leave blame and anger out of the picture. We look at what we are telling ourselves. We seek to identify plain facts without diluting their accuracy with raw emotions.

Reason helps us traverse a path toward something different from an emotional response. Questions are guides to reason. Reason is freeing because it can reveal new ideas and ways to redirect a situation toward greater benefit than simply reacting.

Rigorous thinking is a way of rescuing ourselves from impulsivity. When we reason our way through a situation, no matter how devastating, depressing, or elating, we guide ourselves toward a useful next step. 

Allowing the chance factor that emotionality represents to be our guide means that we’ll be swinging on a fast-moving pendulum for the duration, making no real progress.

Rational thought is the bridge between grief or celebration and true diversity and inclusion. How? Diversity is the wealth of experience and therefore perspective that contributes a healthy range of ideas from which to form responses usefully. Including different views leads to energetic thinking and agreeing to find higher levels of practicality than any one position could create.

When severe stress or elation occurs, reaching out to people in our community after a period of personal time to express is useful. We need to join the other members of our orchestra rather than continuing to pipe up with solos. Our shared composition is best performed with the full measure of our talent working together. Together, we can produce worthy thought and action by bringing forth what we share in values and capabilities to create a logical and positive future.