When I look back, I suppose it was my realization that new rules could be implemented at any time to adjust for new ways of thinking. At the time I wondered where else this evolution of busting paradigms might be applicable. Only recently did I come to the understanding that the answer was, "everywhere."
I'm very excited about this discovery. The way I see it, its a permutation of Gandhi's be the change you want to see in the world. We have the unique ability to POSITIVELY BEHAVE IN A DIFFERENT WAY than society expects us to! Something bad happens - smash that lemon into a wall of sugar with Gallagher's watermelon hammer. We don't have to be trapped by default reactions to situations. Reflective Equilibrium affords us the opportunity to fluidly perceive, appraise, deliberate and most importantly adjust our particular beliefs and judgments.
What does this mean to us in the sense of practical application? Just because everyone else behaves a certain way in a particular situation doesn't mean we have to! We can in fact behave entirely antithetical to expected reactions. Its a variation on the theme to throw a party celebrating a loved one's life in place of a somber wake. Where else could this crazy positivity be applied? Stress and grief happen - that's not in dispute - but how we behave afterward is entirely under our own control. "Life" doesn't always have to be about mere survival or conforming to the cookie-cutter expectations of a nuclear lifestyle; we can live, and thrive, in a life of our own creation.
By adjusting to external influences and re-evaluating changes outside our control there is nothing that says we have to behave in any certain order or respond to stimuli negatively. I reject the notion that bad feelings have to be nurtured in any event. It might even be as simple as selfishly choosing positivity as a longer-term solution to a potential problem. The possibilities are seemingly endless.
Charles Cooley states that our self-concepts are formed as reflections of the responses and evaluations of others in our environment. That's great if you live in a rigorously open-minded environment of self-evaluaters. Less so in an environment of self-deprecating conformists. See where I'm going with this? The "rules" we cling to as far as our behavior in any given circumstance are simple constructs of conceptualized subjective culturalizations, not punitive legislative laws. Because they are not real, we do not have to follow them.
While it may be societally acceptable to snub someone who is purposefully rude, what would the fallout be if we instead responded with kindness? I personally will not be ensnared by someone else's expectation of conformist negativity. Dogs and cats *can* live together without the mass hysteria. How are YOU going to be unexpectedly positive today?