Finding X Reasons For Why (by Mark St.Cyr)

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This weekend will be one not remembered for the joyous times we all
should be having with family and loved ones, but for a senseless
mindless tragedy that will bring many of us to question everything. As
it should.

The problem with such heinous acts of evil is we want to lash out at
anyone, and everything. We want answers, and we want them now. Sometimes
there are no easy available answers which will enrage some of us even

Some will focus on the easiest of targets as the reason, some will
draw conclusions where they shouldn’t. Both sides charged with emotion
defending their sides rightly, but maybe for the wrong reasons.

Sometimes there just isn’t a correct answer, an easy fix, just do
this and this won’t happen. Which escalates the anger even more. To
paraphrase an old axiom: “These are the times that try one’s soul.”

We quest for answers now. We want to know how could someone do such a
thing, and why. Vagueness will not suffice we believe. We want answers
and we want them now. And if we can’t get answers then we’ll make broad
accusations and assumptions because we feel the need we must do
something – anything.

Though that can be true, it can also be dangerous. However a pure
emotional based discussion can leave any issue unsolved, just as trying
to fix something using only logic. The two go hand in hand. One without
the other usually results in unintended repercussions that make the
original problem worse.

I once listened to one of the F.B.I.’s top criminal profiler’s speak
about the mind of individuals he had to try to anticipate as to
apprehend them. For me it was both insightful and sobering at the time.

In a shorthanded response to the question of why these people do the
things they do he said: (I’m paraphrasing) “You don’t. You can estimate
and work out reasons, but the actual why you can’t. And you don’t want
to get that deep into it either, because to get to the point of truly
knowing the real why you have to psychologically become them –
literally. And normal people can’t get there. Which we shouldn’t,
because that’s why they’re them, and we aren’t.”

So as we reflect on our own lives this weekend we’ll be bombarded in
every form of media blaming people, places, or things in some form or
another. The debates will be highly charged. Some will make sense, some
will be moronic. However just remember to tell your loved ones how much
they mean to you. Because in the end no one can protect us from
everything. Even ourselves.

I wrote the article below for Upmarket Magazine back in June of this
year. I offer here only because we forget far too quickly why we’re
arguing. Or what for.

Emotion vs Logic Is The Wrong Debate

Many times we hear arguments based on pure logic, or pure emotion.
When this happens — more often than not — one side is absolutely
convinced the other side is wrong, and usually there is no
reconciliation between the two. The same drama that unfolds in a parent
vs. teenager debate also unfolds across the spectrum of business,
regardless of age or stature. One side defends their position based
purely on logic, while the other is wrought with emotion. Neither side
will be able to persuade the other, and this confrontation usually ends
in deadlock (or worse).

Sometimes, we hear the term “passionate” used to describe a fiery
debate. Although this word conjures up an image of pure emotion, a passionate
debate is also laced with logical reasoning as to why the participant
cares so deeply. In order to find a workable conclusion or middle
ground, both sides must include logic and emotion in their arguments. If
either side focuses only on logic or emotion, there’s no reason
to continue the debate; nothing but frustration will result. If you are
aware of this in your challenging debates, you will know when you can
end an argument politely — because there are some cases where nobody
will be happy and no progress will be made.

Think of emotions as the sails on a ship, and logic as the ropes that
bind them. Without the strength of the ropes and points of restraint to
hold the sails in place, the sheets will whip to-and-fro aimlessly. The
sail won’t have any power to move the ship, and will become tattered
and torn as it flails, untethered. It won’t be long before it wears
itself out, and frays beyond repair.

In relation to the size and scope of sails, ropes are fractional —
yet they are what give the sails their power and strength. The ropes
allow the force of the wind to be captured and to move the ship forward.
And ropes, as important as they are to this equation, are meaningless
if all they do is stay coiled in some container. It’s the combination
of ropes and sails that give both their ability to harness the wind with
astonishing results.

When you’re in a debate, discussion, or argument you must be the one
who is on the lookout for signs that the emotional and logical sides of
the argument are present in both sides of the debate. Once you’re able
to do this in real-time (or watching from afar), you’ll be able to spot
the brewing storm clouds, and adjust your course of action so as to
avoid being swept into more turbulent weather.

A passionate — successful — debate has both sides pleading their case
with emotion tied down with logical reasoning. When a debate is
structured in this way, the murky waters of business become as exciting
as being at the helm, navigating a ship at the Americas Cup. But one
without the other, and you’ll never get further than the dock.

© 2012 Mark St.Cyr