In the field of International Relations, there is a concept called “the rational actor.” The rational actor refers to a person who acts upon a decision, usually in times of emergencies or crises. The most important factor of her/his decision making process is the urgency of the over all (political) atmosphere. With this concept, a decision made by an actor becomes reasonable if it is able to swiftly and effectively respond to the critical situation at hand. Her/his decision may not necessarily be the best one (in terms of a long term perspective), but since she/he is in a position wherein a prompt action is needed, her/his action can be considered as the most logical and reasonable one
at that particular moment in time.
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Quite recently, I have had to make a “rational decision” as well. I will not go into details anymore. Let me just say that there are some things around me that have become rather unstable and insecure and not doing something about it would only make the situation worse. I had to do something even if it meant setting aside some personal/political beliefs and tearing down “plans” I have
previously made for myself. Making this decision was not easy for me. Honestly, I have been trying to avoid seeing this day come. I stalled many times, hoping that I would not have to do it. However, due to the current pressing need to act, I was left with no choice but to close my eyes and act upon it.
To be quite honest, it is not really as harsh in reality as it sounds here. It’s just that it’s not something that I ever wanted for myself.
Never have. I have always felt and believed that it is not for me; and that making that choice is out of the question. I once told myself that I would only do it if the situation becomes dire.
Unfortunately, the situation did become really bleak. And I hated it. Even the slightest idea of making that decision made me powerless and more doubtful as to what the future might have for me after this phase. Nevertheless, I set aside all of those thoughts and did what was necessary. It was the “best” thing for me to do.
At the onset, I had a hard time dealing with the decision I made. But as days progressed, I decided upon another thing – I decided to shift my perspectives and see the positive side in all of this. What good would this experience do to me? How could I further make it to my advantage? I chose to think this way because honestly, I am tired of over thinking things, of worrying. I just felt the need to just
“go with flow” until everything falls into its proper place.
I once had an officemate who was no longer happy with a certain relationship. She said that in order to counter the negative feelings she was having, instead of focusing on them, what she would do was list all of the things that still made her happy. I kind of found it silly. I told her that happiness / contentment should be something that she should feel naturally; that it should not be studied or forced. I told her to leave it behind and look for someone better. She decided to go on with it and just “find happiness” amidst the gloominess of her state. That was almost 2 years ago. Just a couple of weeks back, we met again. She is still in the same relationship and feeling depressed more than ever. I asked her why she didn’t want to leave still. She told me a bunch of reasons for staying and gave me that old “technique” of “finding happiness amidst the emptiness” thing.
Now, what is my point regarding the story of my friend? I now get her point of “finding the positive amidst the negative.” I am actually
applying that same principle to my life now. I must say, it is working and more or less, I am no longer that heavily burdened with pessimism and other negativities. I am feeling relatively more hopeful with things. I suddenly remember this scene from the movie
“Elizabethtown,” wherein Kirsten Dunst tells Orlando Bloom that surrender is so much easier to do compared to finding happiness ‘cause finding happiness involves so much work (something like that). However, what my friend does not get is that there is a huge
difference between working to find happiness and convincing yourself that you can still find happiness or something positive in a depressing situation. You need to be aware when the fine line between the two erodes. You need to make a wiser decision when that time arrives because in the end, what I’ve realized is that the more important thing is not how much work you’ve done in making yourself happy but the amount of time you truly felt it.
So for now, I’m trying to find all the reasons not to be so pessimistic with things and just trying to go with the flow and just hope for the best.