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1. Does a true scientist (or any truly educated person) have the social responsibility to behave a bit more responsibly with more open, logical attitude outside of his/her area of work?
2. If the answer to my previous question is “Yes”, then, can we afford to continue compartmentalizing inquisitiveness and rational thinking?
3. Lastly, is it at all possible to become rational in some issues but not in many others?

Intrigued by this article at Nature Forum, and triggered by the author’s questions, I have now brought this topic out of my belly after holding it in for so long …
Truthfully, the trigger happened three years ago, when I had a conversation with a Vietnamese elderly – a healthy, lovely woman in her late 70s. I always commented how good and young she looked. It was quite pleasant seeing how she loved to dress up and take care of her self, while she was also such an active lady, gardening and doing houswork from inside out. She loved to talk about how she took care of her kids even now they are in grown-up ages, and share her family stories. She loved talking to me ( I think I am good with seniors). How many kids does she have? I think she said 8, older half of whom are girls and the younger half are boys. It was just one sentence she uttered during one of our conversations – “just being a (did she say “good”?) human is enough …” Wow, not all Asian parents can say that, I thought. A Vietnamese traditional mother can expect alot from her kids but to her, she realized that her kids are always hers and do not expect them to be perfect, I guess at some point after all the mundanes of life … She struggled with approving her son’s marriage with a Filippinos girl. She was proud of her son who is a doctor, who and another turned out to be gay men. She admitted having forced her daughter into being married at a young age (in college years) to an older doctor, then her tone changed as she did not feel happy for her daughter’s marriage life. How many more such Vietnamese mothers who could come out of that hard-shell and become so true to themselves. Not that many…
So back to the 3 questions above, here are my answers/comments:
1. Yes and No. First we have to define, what is “open” or “logical”; what or when to be considered outside of work. Traditionally, scientists always strive to be good examples, at least for their children and for their own values, serious and humble at the same time. We can hardly see a scientist who is dressed-down, bikes to school/lab, and has such characters nowadays… There is only one Isăc Newton or one Albert Einstein. Scientists do not make as much earning as their (working) peers do in the same profession. And there are amateur scientists and scientists. The competition and the desire to accomplish more have put more pressure on them and unfortunately, a minority of them has become greedy and dishonest. They are human beings, after all. They don’t call themselves “geniuses”. We the community of admirers praised them “genius”.
Is there such a condition as in “to be a (good) scientist, you have to be a good human being”? Another saying, “does preacher practice what he preaches?”. I notice that scientists do have good analytical thinkings, but sometimes some (but not all) have no common sense out of a life situation. As an adult, we are responsible for our own acts and words. Don’t we teach our kids not to lie, to steal, to kill? Then these are the basic principles. To a higher level, we all should have our own established principles. Practice makes perfect. Knowing that habit is the result of recurring activities, we should learn to train our thoughts, our daily acts and reactions into healthy habits. It would be ideal if we all keep our ethics consistent in all and every aspect of life. Someone, an anlyst or a reporter on a news channel recently broke out that “Humans are the only animal that has or is clearly aware of our own morality…” which then led to my another question, “what moraliti(es) do humans have?” What’s moral for one maybe not for other? We need exception rules here.
A scientist has no choice except to kill one mouse or one rabbit to learn how their brain reacts to certain concentration of saline intake, to help cure the high blood pressure and obesity in humans.
Does that define him/her as immoral or a bad human being?

2. “compartmentalizing” or “acting accordingly” or “multi-faceted”? I agree with another commenter. If a person is rational in true sense, s/he will be that way all the time.

3. Talking about rational again – What are those “some” issues? Define! Well, we’re human beings and sometimes act silly, or goof up a little bit, but have to define a fine line between what’s acceptable and what’s not accpetable. And simply, just being yourself, true self is good enough.
It is ok to be divergent, but keep your own values consistent.

Lastly, how about putting all irrational people in a rooom and hear them talk – it would be hilarious. A comedy show, I think. It was just a funny thought while sitting in a meeting and somebody mentioned having some staff go to a “Rational Thinking ” class.

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This post is to correspond to the article at Resources.

When people get busy, hurried, and stressed they put aside
their own needs and the needs of their relationships in the
rush to get thing done. But when you are busy, hurried and
stressed is when you need time for yourself and with your loved
one(s) the most. Time and space nourish you, and allow you to be
more effective – and being more effective means you get things
done better and faster.

This is counterintuitive. Just when you think you have
absolutely no time for yourself or your relationships (family or
significant other), is when you should take the time in order to
be more effective. Think of time you spend on yourself and on
your relationships as time spent charging up your body and
spirit.

How do you carve out that time? Here are a few suggestions to
help you out.
1. You don’t have to do everything you have to do
Sometimes people who feel overwhelmed want to do everything on
their list as a way to relieve the pressure. This will not work
because you simply will not get everything on your list done-
and, if you came close, the list would start filling up again
with additional must-do tasks.
What do you really have to do? Be as clear about this as you
would be if you were advising a friend: only a few things on
that list are really in the “must do” category. Erase the rest,
forgive yourself for not doing those other things, and spend the
freed-up time on yourself or your loved one(s).

2. Simplify
Look carefully at the items on your list that involve a lot of
steps or look like they will take a lot of time. If they really
must be done right now, is there a way to do them more simply,
more directly? Think about your experience with complex
projects, and how they often seem to double in complexity and in
the time required as unexpected problems crop up or extra steps
have to be added.
This may be the time to go for a “good enough” result, rather
than a perfect one. Opt for simplicity and ease: it’s ok not to
struggle. Use the freed-up time to spend on yourself or your
loved one(s).

3. Set a realistic to-do list for the day; stop when it’s done
If you work for someone else, your boss only gets to tell you
what to do during the hours he or she has paid for. Beyond that,
if there is any justice in your work world, someone else has to
do the things that you could not get to, or they have to wait.

Try this experiment: pretend that your to-do list has hired you
for a certain number of hours each day. Work your hardest for
your to-do boss in the time you have agreed on. And then stop
for the day: enough is enough. You may need to pare down your
idea of what you can reasonably accomplish in a day.

4. Take care of yourself
Do one (or more) self-care actions each morning. This can be
vastly different for different people: from a 10 minute
meditation to a short walk, to making sure you have some quiet
time even if you have to get up 15 minutes early, to using a
special body-care product, to applying moisturizer to your face,
to making a special cup of tea or coffee before you run out the
door. Do something easy, fast, and special to recharge your
batteries and let you know you are important.
You will then find it easier to make better choices throughout
the day, having been recharged a bit by your self-care action.
You will be more likely, later in the day, to make wise
decisions about making time for yourself and your loved one(s)
instead of doing more stuff.

5. Set a drop to-do list time, before you drop from exhaustion
Set a time every day when you will stop everything you are
doing to give yourself some space and time or spend time with
your loved one(s). Make sure this is a time long before you drop
from exhaustion. If you tend to pass out at 9 pm, make sure your
alone or together time starts no later then 8:30. Better yet,
make it 8 pm.
Alternatively, decide on a time that works best in your
schedule and stop for half an hour to an hour in the middle of
the day or early evening to spend time on yourself or on your
loved one(s).

6. Refuel with love
It seems impossible during a busy period to carve out any time
at all for yourself or for a loved one. But you can and you
really should. We all know people function better on adequate
sleep. But do you know that people function better on adequate
love?
When you are spending time on yourself you are loving yourself.
This self-love will nourish you and make you more effective.
When you are spending time on loved one(s) you are allowing
yourself to be nourished by them/him/her and that will make you
more effective as well.

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