My Mother: Amazing Woman, and more notes on Irrationality and Rationality

July 29, 2011 Oyibo Princess
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Actually wrote this yesterday and did not post it:

I told you that I was going to wait until I finished Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart to read Dan Ariely’s book Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, but my dad was going to the library today and I couldn’t wait.  However, the library did not have the book so instead I got Ariely’s newest book The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic.

After reading the introduction to the book, I am really realizing what amazing woman my mom is .  In the book, Ariely discusses the irrationality of human beings and the profundity and pervasiveness of this irrationality. He begins his book by talking about one of the most common reflection of human irrationality: procrastination.  He says that we as humans struggle to overcome procrastination every day.  I was relieved because all this time I thought I was the only one who almost always waits until the last minute to complete tasks. It has been quite painful to overcome this habit.

My mom is quite different from the people Ariely talks about in his book.  I cannot recall a time when she procrastinated.  Every time ask her to do me a favor, she always does it, either that day or for bigger tasks, the next day but only if she absolutely has to wait.  She quit smoking almost 10 years ago after smoking for 20-30 years (which is another habit Ariely said is irrational yet difficult to quit).  She has gotten so good at not smoking that it is hard to believe she ever smoked since she now hates even the smell of cigarettes on a person’s shirt.

My brother bought gym membership for both my mom and my dad.  But out of the two of them, my mom is the only one who goes to the gym religiously. How does she do it? How does my mother conquer natural human irrationality?  Ariely says that most humans prefer short term pleasure that will be detrimental in the long run as opposed to short term pain that will be much more beneficial in the long run. Maybe there are some glitches to Dan Ariely’s study.  Then again, I have not finished reading the book.  I would say that going natural is long term pain that results in even longer term benefits.  Yet many women all over the blog-o-sphere are taking the plunge.  What is this force that is moving them?  Can anyone help me figure this out? I do not remember why I did, but I do know that I was much more disciplined back then than I am now and I did not care about looking good either.  In fact, I thought looking good attracted boys that would waste my time and get me pregnant which I did not want so I took the risk.  Many women are going natural now and looking good while doing it.  I did not know how to do both back then  because there was no online natural hair community at the time (2003).

Two Hours later:

So after my mother got home, I told her about the book The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic.  I then went on to tell her how amazing she was for fighting procrastination and having the will power to quit smoking and to start exercising her.  I asked her, “How do you do it? What is the force?”

She told me love.  “I love my family and I want to be able to provide for them and to live long so that I can see them prosper.”  That is so sweet.  The Bible is right.  Love is such a strong force.

My mom and me


Entry Filed under: Random

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. DK  |  July 30, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    This post is amazing Nicole. I love the way you describe your mom’s personality.I wish I could read that book too.

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