Hanlon’s Razor

We all fall victim to this, being self-centered enough to think that anytime something goes wrong, it is an intentional slight meant to aggravate us. However, it is usually not the case.

Hanlon’s Razor is “never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by neglect.”

This means that the world, your co-workers, the utility company, the other drivers are probably not colluding to make your life miserable. They are probably not even aware of the impact on your life by their action (or inaction).

That lack of intent may not seem important because your life is still impacted, but it is important. Intent is something that can drastically change a murder trial, a traffic accident or an IRS audit. Knowing someone’s intent opens a new door of further being able to find out a root cause for something. And usually, the root cause is negligence or lack of awareness. 

Hanlon’s Razor can also be simplified to, “it may seem like it does, but the world does not revolve around you” or “you are not that special.” Unless you are the president or some other public figure, it applies well.

Keep this in mind the next time you are frustrated. Know that whatever shortcomings you are experiencing are probably not intentional and let them slide.

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