Grappling with others – as rational actors?

Day 6: Monday

Morning, Tim!

I hope the weather has improved, and, if you are sick, I hope you feel much better. If you are writing about not admitting to sickness just for fun, and aren’t sick at all…well I suppose I hope you stay well, but more importantly want you to know how truly impressed at the boldness and reach for a good bit to write about.

Not sure what kind of sickness you might be experiencing. But, particularly in light of you being in Italy, I hope it’s not a stomach bug, as I’m just going to leave this here.

Visiting family was lovely. Weather, you’ll be pleased to hear, was beautiful.

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Is it good for us to disagree? Not you and I, specifically; I mean it more in the the Royal us (is there such a thing?) Weather is fairly agreeable in fact, but not in kind – while we both likely have a phone app that tells us the temperature, you may think it pleasant at 80°F. For me that would make my walk to work an absolute disaster. Similarly, your enjoyment of rain and clouds may be understandably disliked by others (at least those who, again, like me, don’t always bring an umbrella and sit at work for hours with drinched clothes). It seems we should try to disagree more, Tim. By forcing ourselves to confront differences in others (and, by logical extension ourselves), we have the opportunity to see life from their perspective.

I’m in school, currently studying negotiations. My professor, discussing some of the differences in psychologists’ and economists’ viewpoints on rationality brought up the rational actor. I have read behavioral economists and can appreciate the perspective brought by psychologists on how individuals’ actions are not necessarily in line with economists predictions; however, the interesting piece I hadn’t fully grappled with was a counterargument that these individuals may well be acting rationally, if only we understood their full perspective. While I’m not sure how well that counterargument holds up (and will continue to read to further understand), it has kept me thinking. While it’s obviously impossible to truly understand all that is impacting another, it seems that part of being human is to be relational with others; if that is the case, better understanding their actions may mean better understanding the circumstances leading to that action, understanding the differences in background or opinion that have lead to that choice. Despite male or female, urban or rural, national or foreign, race, height, aesthetic beauty, marital status, talent for sports, or ability for humor (among countless others), perhaps making diversity a priority (a pillar, if you will) isn’t such a bad thing after all.

Until tomorrow,

Zak

p.s. the Swordfish fighting video was so far under half of what I was hoping for. I would have preferred Knifefish fighting to that. Or a grape Blow Pop. Man those things are good…