Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Friday, May 26, 2006

Reasoning on Reason

One of my favourite quotations of all time comes from the Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw. He wrote: “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

No better statement captivates so many of the wrongs in our lives and the world at large. Certainly, in my position of being a Correctional Officer, I see this in abundance with both the inmates whom I supervise and those that I work for/with. Is there ever a point in time when those with reason relinquish the stranglehold that the unreasonable have held in the past and persist in doing so in the present? I am gob smacked at how those with reason allow themselves and our world to be dominated by the unreasonable. We see this in areas ranging from environmentalism to waging war. We endeavour to make reasonable laws to protect the innocent while, in turn, pave the way for the guilty to prosper. I feel like screaming a lot of the time and am amazed at those who look at me like I’m the one who’s crazy. We voluntarily enslave ourselves like the Mother of a mass murderer who pleads to the courts that “Hannibal’s a good boy”. It’s like modernising Marx’s comments on “religion” being “the opium of the people”, simply interject corporate consumerism or the American Dream.

People are lazy. I know that fighting takes a lot out of us, so it seems logical to take the easiest road and pick our battles. Fair enough. Sadly, it seems that we don’t pick these battles until it is far too late in the game, then our odds of winning them are slim to none – c’est la vie. Just look at Healthcare funding in how it’s all treatment for ailment’s as opposed to being preventative. How many folks join groups like MADD before someone they know get killed by a drunk driver, or give to Cancer research before a loved one gets sick? People lobby against smoking, but what about McDonald’s? The air we breathe is sick, the food we eat is biologically engineered cut full of preservatives and sprayed with chemicals, yet most of us say “hey, that’s terrible” and nothing more. It is neither my position nor my intent to slight or criticise those who have been drawn to a particular cause in reaction to some tragic event in their lives, but rather to ponder why the passion to pursue similar goals and social needs does not exist accross the board.

Yes, I’m ranting. No, I don’t mean to say that we should all become Hippies (I hate Hippies) and do nothing but “fight the man”, but I am advocating that people become more active in the living process. I propose we do this by (a) acting reasonably, (b) do our best to assist others in acting reasonably, (c) do our best to develop our critical thinking skills and attempt to resolve unreasonable issues with reason and take decision making away from the unreasonable and (d) be willing to sacrifice convenience for those things that are reasonable. Christopher Fry wrote: “I’ve begun to believe that the reasonable/ is an invention of man, altogether in opposition/ to the facts of creation” when referring to his firstborn infant. Never one to scoff at a youthfulness in our character, I do question how many of us truly mature according to one’s potential.

Such simple words… perhaps I am unreasonable to even suggest such things.


  • At 3:04 a.m. , Blogger shikha said...

    This is an awesome post here!

    The world is driven by the unreasonable people!

    To make new rules we need to break the old rules and we need the so called "unreasonable" people for this:)


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