Friday, February 03, 2006

No point in being reasonable

"I tried being reasonable. I didn't like it."
- Clint Eastwood, US actor and politician

The trouble with being reasonable is either that no one recognizes your effort or others see you as gullible or an easy mark.

"Reasonable" is no longer just "doing or thinking things that fall within the socially acceptable norms of the community."

Now what is reasonable is judged not by social norms but by the standards of the individual who uses them. Have ten people judge the same behaviour or the same object or written work and you will receive ten different replies and explanations as to whether or not it is reasonable.

There is no longer any point in being reasonable, as some people simply will not accept it anyway. They will not be reasonable themselves, or even with themselves, so they will not be reasonable with you.

The best you can hope to do is to sound out people whose views may differ from yours first, then tailor your words or actions to suit what they will not likely object to.

Unless your intention is to be different. Those who plan to be different are either admired or hated, usually both. Sometimes both by the same people.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help people survive an unreasonable world in reasonable ways.
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