One of the criticisms I receive is that I tend to think rationally. It’s not that I don’t have an emotional response to some act by someone else, it’s just that when I stop and consider a problem that I perceive, I make every attempt to evaluate that problem soberly, with consideration of all of the facts that I am aware of at the time. That may appear cold and dispassionate to some, but it’s not. As I already said, I am jua\st as liable to have an emotional response to something as anyone else. The difference is, I don’t act on that initial response.
We’re all, as humans, emotional beings. If someone hurts or attempts to hurt someone we care for, our immediate response is to get some sort of revenge. That’s not necessarily a bad response, but it’s not a reasonable one in that we may have identified the wrong person as the culprit. That’s why we have laws and people we pay to enforce those same laws. If all of us were to go out and commit our own form of justice on those we believed caused us some sort of harm, society, if there was one, would be chaos.
There are those that believe that there is a plan for everyone’s life. That’s what they’ve been taught their entire life in some house of worship. But is tht true? A son. daughter, husband or wife is killed in a war; How does that translate to a plan for the survivor’s lives? Grief, somehow is a plan for the others’ lives. Sorry, I don’t see it. Why would any supreme being want to inflict that kind of pain in its creation? How does the death of a loved one bring anyone closer to that being? I’m sure there’s a pastor or preacher that could somehow rationalize that horror into something good, but the person listening, the grieving parent or spouse would have to have a tin ear to accept what they were told. That event is final and forever.
We are able to do good as well, no supernatural beings required. A few years ago, I helped a young woman with a 5 year old daugther get off the streets. Yes, she was homeless. I called in a favor after learning that she had been a highly trained Satellite (communications) technician in the Army. Today, she and her girl are doing great. No god needed, just someone being compassionate to another human being. That was something new to me. I probably stopped because it was a young woman with a small child. Would I have done that for a man, young or not? I don’t know but I’d like to think so. I have helped others, homeless, to find a shelter where we are, and I just think that’s the minimum I can do. We can all try to help another person, no matter what their issues are, and we should. That’s actually the rational thought I have. Do something good for someone, without needing anything in return, That may sound like a religious philosophy to some, but it;s not, it’s a humanist philosophy. No gods required for any of us to take it upon ourselves to do something for another person.
So yes, even though when /i firt approacehed the young woman with her child, I had no idea what to expect. Was she a substance abuser? Was she mentally ill? Would she take my approach as something other than what it was, that I meant no harm? I had no idea as I approached her on that ice-cold December morning. But my rational thought was that no, she wouldn’t see me as an aggressor or someone that was going to cause harm. I was right. Sometimes people are actually who they appear to be. Today, we’re still friends. In fact, I’m the only family she has.
Sometimes, outcomes are good, other times they are not what we expected. In either case, the attempt was made. Some actions we make seem to have no rational thought behind. But they all do, whether that thought contains some form of emotion or compassion, or is just a stark reality. The difference is that those thoughts are our own and no one forces us into any situation that we’re not prepared to be in at any time,