Irrational behavior is blind to consequences, may be harmful and even deadly. But it satisfies emotional swelling within us. Albeit, it claims credit for so many valiant achievements where irrational persistence won the day.
Rationality acknowledges emotions, irrationality quashes logic — it’s a critical asymmetry! If you live rationally you can harness emotions for good purpose; if you live irrationally you abandon the power of reason to bring you closer to your ultimate goal.
A rational premise will appear valid regardless of your emotional state, it will appear rational to complete strangers. An irrational stance looks compelling when you are in one emotional state, and totally ridiculous when you are in a different emotional state. An irrational position looks objectionable to people who are not in the same spell.
Rationality endures and is community shared. It is the basis for living and thriving as a society.
The most common damage emanating from irrational living is stubborn burning of energy and resources in pursuit of a derived goal, long after it makes sense to do so. Hard goals require focus, commitment, and steadfastness, and as we gear up to them we generate inertia that keeps us going, regardless of whether this goal has become moot, or whether its higher-up goal can be better achieved through a different route. It’s the critical hard challenge to identify irrational inertia, and it is an even tougher challenge to break it.
We go through life gearing up our emotional make-up to give us the focus, the energy to achieve our goals, but we must do so within a rational framework. Only our raison d’être deserves our unconditional pursuit. Goals below that are negotiable and subject to rational management.
This is our challenge, this is the definition of nobility — the pursuit of rational living. We may never get to this promised land, but we may get closer and closer.