React or Respond?

Reaction vs. Responding

Spectrum of reasoning

I was listening to some talk show podcast, and they were debating the pros and cons of reacting vs. responding; at first I thought that they were pretty much the same in definition; a course of action after an event, but upon further research, the conceps are evolved. A reaction can be likened upon an impulsive action focused on a narrow part of the overall situation, usually to the exclusion of larger goals and objectives. Whereas a response can be defined as a wiser course of action that considers the complexities of people and circumstances; responses aims to accomplish goals based on a more through understanding of the whole situation.

Thus, it is safe to say that responding should be the ideal course of response for us mortals, however I believe, and I am sure that many of you probably agree, that we tend to react more than we respond. We fly off the handle, don’t take time to carefully think about the gravity of situations, and our reactions cause tension, animosity, and hate – from others. To give a medical analogy, consider a patient; the patient goes in to their Doctor for a follow-up visit – let’s say that the patient has improved since the last visit, the Doctor will say that your body is ‘responding’ to the treatment/drug. Whereas, if the patient visits the Doctor, and the patient is sick, the Doctor will say that their body is ‘reacting’ to some virus. Thus, this concept of reacting vs. responding can be compared to a negative vs. positive contrast or even further, it can be compared to degrees of reasoning. Many people in your lives who are hot-headed, easily tempered, it would be safe to say react to situations; while those who take time to deliberate the pros and cons, look at the glass both half-full and half-empty, are probably ones to respond to situations.

The classic and most modern example of reaction vs. respond is when President Obama ‘sonned’ a White House reporter in March 2009 when Obama was asked why he didn’t react sooner regarding the AIG fiasco; Obama replied “I like to know what I am talking about before I give a response”.

Take notes.

.:: LiBM ::.

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