A Rational Romantic

Rational: based on or in accordance with reason or logic.

Romantic: (1) inclined toward or suggestive of the feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love; (2) of, characterized by, or suggestive of an idealized view of reality.

rationalIf you were to go back and examine my post-high-school education, you would see that my course work consisted of mostly science, engineering and math.  I consider myself a scientist, although my practical bent carried me into the applications side of science, usually called engineering.  I’ve had a career of (yikes) forty-seven years piecing together rational ideas and concepts into systems, then evaluating those systems according to scientific principles.  Engineers have earned their reputation for being uber-rational and I am one of them    I am a realist, too.   I know exactly what Jackson Browne meant when he wrote:

Doctor, my eyes have seen the years
And the slow parade of fears without crying
Now I want to understand
I have done all that I could
To see the evil and the good without hiding
You must help me if you can
Doctor, my eyes
Tell me what is wrong
Was I unwise to leave them open for so long?

I don’t hide my eyes from the world and I don’t sugar-coat what I see, which has earned me the sometimes 12-Step nickname of Bud Dark.   I don’t prescribe to the principle that everything is neutral, either, that we only make things good or bad with our thoughts.  Somebody needs to tell me how that is any different from plain old denial.  I am a Rational Realist.

But I also consider myself a Romantic. I sometimes tear up at corny old love songs and I believe in the excitement and mystery of love.   I believe in the notion that certain souls were meant to be together and that there is good (and purpose) in everyone.  How can that be given my credentials as a Rational Realist?   I can tell you that just as I choose to have Faith, I choose to be a Romantic.  It’s self-preservation.  I don’t want to live in a cold, hard rational world, so I don’t.  But it’s not a blind choice.  A Rational Romantic knows that part of the mystery and excitement of love is how to make it last in a world that glamorizes instant gratification and taking the easy path.   He knows that soulmate is not a source of continual bliss but someone who brings blissful times while helping us find our life’s purpose.  A Rational Romantic knows that unconditional love means keeping love alive through those times when it slips from sight.   He knows that in some of our species, the good is buried so deep, he’s unlikely to see it but he keeps trying anyway because if he does, he sees it in the damnedest places.   It takes work to be A Rational Romantic but, for me, it’s worth it.

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2 Comments on “A Rational Romantic”

  1. territerri Says:

    You’re a smart guy, Bud. I can’t tell you how often lately that I’ve thought to myself, or even voiced out loud, “This world is a crappy place.” I don’t truly believe it, but sometimes it’s just so hard to understand why bad things happen to good people. It’s a good choice on your part to look for joy and happiness where you can find it. Otherwise, it would just be too easy to get swallowed up inside all of the hurt and pain that exists here.

    • oldereyes Says:

      Terri, just knowing it doesn’t make it easy. The rational position is easier intellectually and our ego loves our intellectual side. So, believe me … particularly lately … I go to the edge of the “World’s a crappy place” place. It takes effort to step away from the cliff’s edge.


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