Be Reasonable When You’re Being Reasonable

Some people think of rationality only in terms of how it applies to their beliefs. For these people, being rational is merely a matter of striving for logical consistency in their ideas.

That’s certainly one valid aspect of rationality, but it’s only one side of the coin. Rationality isn’t just a matter of cognition or contemplation. It’s also a matter of communication.

To be rational is to have good reasons not only for what you think, but also for what you do.

When you communicate the rationality of your beliefs to another person, are you adopting a communication strategy that improves your ability to be a positive and persuasive influence? Or are you only concerned with speaking the truth without any regard for how your timing and tone might affect the presentation of your messages?

Reason matters. In fact, reason is a necessary condition for all coherent thought and action. Never leave home without it. But don’t limit the power of reason to your thoughts alone. Reason matters so much that you ought to make sure you always have good reasons for the communication approach you to choose to adopt when reasoning with other people.