• Sanjeev NC

Why do we do things that isn’t logical?

Updated: Apr 6

“That’s not the right thing to do” is a phrase I keep hearing from the people around me whenever I’m brave enough to share my thoughts with them. While it isn’t enough to convince me to not do that, it always arouses a thought in me: “How is it that something that seems so logically obvious to me doesn’t seem so to the people around me?”

Then I understood the magical concept.

Context.

Context bends logic. It can make the right things wrong and the wrong things right. A mortal mind cannot easily augment context from a different perspective and hence we don’t really understand why people do the the things they do. It is also really hard to put context into words.


When I thought I’ll write about it, I was figuring out the best possible way to do it. Nothing does the job like visual representation. I’ve tried to explain it with a simple example.


Consider the scenario below. I’ve split it into “Action” and “Context”


Your friend meets with an accident in a late night party and you’re the only one who knows how to drive, there are no cabs available. You’re a little drunk but you’re confident of your driving skills. You step up and say “I’m drunk but I’m sure I can drive 3 kms safely!” and you get a positive response. Makes sense, right?


Now let’s isolate the “Action” alone. Imagine saying the same line in a different party, a different scenario. “I’m drunk but I’m sure I can drive 3 kms safely!”. Ummm…it doesn’t sound quite right.


When you add context to the same action, it starts to make sense again!


This may sound really silly but think about it! Adding context to any situation completely changes everything.


Humans are not built to do things logically, we do things that makes sense to us(not necessarily to the people around us). We are not computers to follow instructions. Imagine if you can tell your phone that you are sick and it automatically turns off all the alarms for the next day. It won’t. It follows instructions. It does the right thing irrespective of the situation. Context isn’t even a parameter here. The actions remain the same forever for a computer.


The intent of this article is not to make you realize your human side(though I’d be happy if you do). It is just to open up a new perspective. When your friend or peer does something that sounds silly, illogical, stupid or sometimes even evil, remember that you do not have context. It may not make sense to you but inside their head, it does.


How do we gain context to understand better? I don’t know. Let me know if you’ve figured it out.

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