Reason is being able to use the data you have to figure out something new.
Reason is also thought plus effort.
You can use reason to predict what might happen, to decide things for yourself or to figure out how to do something or how to do it better.
Why is this good and important information to have and understand? Let’s take a look at it:
Reason is one of the things that human beings have that other members of the animal kingdom don’t have. It is one of the things that gives us the edge, and it is the basis of a lot of creativity that makes our lives more durable and more enjoyable. If you have a number of random facts floating around in your head and you understand them, then when encountering a situation in life, you can pull those facts together and utilize them to figure out how to do something or to do it better than you could before.
Let me give you an example of this: Let’s take swimming. A young child learns to float then kick his feet and move his arms and he can make himself mobile in the water. He starts out just having fun. Then one day he joins the swim team. He wants to swim faster. He notices and is coached that if he doesn’t raise his head out of the water but just turns it to the side to take in air that he will go faster. He speeds up. But he is still not as fast as he could be. He learns some facts about wind and water resistance and finds ways to make his body more sleek, he learns to perfect his stroke so it picks up less air and gives him a longer stroke. Before he knows it, he is breaking records for speed! He has in fact, to some degree conquered a portion of the physical universe to be successful in his goal.
People like Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell and other inventors were able to take facts that they knew to be true and put them together in unique ways to create new inventions that then made life easier, more productive and even more enjoyable for a great many people. They used “Reason” to accomplish this.
But reason is even more useful than that. By truly understanding the second definition of Reason: (thought plus effort) one can easily debug any situation that is not successful for him/her. Did you get to school or work late? What was missing? Not enough thought? Not enough effort?
Did you get in trouble with your family or your work? Did the actions you took (or didn’t take) were they the result of not enough thought? Not enough effort? You see how it works?
One does not have to be a psychic or a mind reader to predict the future as long as you are using reason. You simply look at all the facts and think through how much estimated effort you need to achieve your goal. Then you apply that much effort to it. If you see that your goal is not getting attained fast enough, re-evaluate how much effort is needed and apply it correctly.
Let’s say your friends are inviting you to do something you would not normally do; it looks like fun but you aren’t sure. OK – get all the facts, think it through, imagine all the different possibilities that effort can result in. Is the outcome of that activity more constructive than destructive along pro-survival lines? Do you foresee long lasting happiness from it? Do it! If not, I personally would beg off and if needed, point out to my friends the possible negative outcome of such an activity. After all, you don’t want their demise on your conscience! That is not likely to make you happy if they are truly your friends.
Now I am very sure the teens reading this article think that I’m just writing this for them, but in fact adults are equally subject to not using reason when we should. Teens see it all the time and I don’t need to point it out to you. Often when you are upset with us, you are quick to point it out to us yourselves. And you know what? You’re right! Sorry parents, but we are not immune to mistakes in this area. We often put work before family, stay up way too late, play on the computer longer than we should rather than be productive, we watch too much TV, and we put off physical exams, dental exams, etc. We sometimes set bad examples for our children.
So my point here is just because you see an adult not using reason is not a excuse for you to do the same. Just because someone you admire or respect makes this mistake is no excuse for you to turn your head to it and ignore it. If you care and love your parents, friends, co-workers and school/team mates it is perfectly all right to go over this with them and remind them of it. And when someone who cares about you points it out, it is perfectly all right to accept their communications on it. After all, it is your best survival they are looking to secure.
For information on where to get more data that will help you “know how to know” the best ways to survive, contact Mace-Kingsley Family Center. We will guide you to observable truths that will make your life easier, better and happier. Contact us at 727-442-3922 or click here.