Terry Goodkind’s Wizard’s Third Rule and it very naturally flows from the idea that people are stupid and the best intentions can cause the greatest harm. The real problem is acting in passion ahead of reason often hurts yourself and those around you. In life people definitely make more choices based on their passions rather than reason. Retailers know that most of purchase decisions are based on impulse and they take advantage of it all the time. Trust me, we do far more based on what we feel than what we think.
When you come to realize this is true about yourself then you can begin to measure your choices more closely. There is definitely a tug of war now for me every time I make a decision and attempt as much as possible to make sure reason has a voice. Passion has a tendency to jump the tracks and can be a wild horse if no bridled by reason.
At the same time we need passion for the purposes of motivation. No one just intellectualized their way to success. Reason may show us beyond a shadow of a doubt what needs to be done but it rarely is the thing that motivates us. Passion takes on that role and perhaps it is good that it does. I know of no leader who motivated the troops so to speak by pure reason. I have never pushed forward through my last set weightlifting on reason but passion and drive from that passion is what has. That’s probably why when Terry Goodkind coined this rule he added as a commentary – ‘for better or worse.” He himself thus indicated that the results of passion ruling reason are mixed and really that is the point. That if passion ruling reason is simply a statement of fact then we need to be ready to simply reap the consequences of that fact.
At the same time there should be something in us that takes that simple truth and tries to bring about more success with it. It should be in our hearts to at least let Reason be the wise sage to passion to make sure passion does more good than harm. Passion has to be there, but reason should have enough of a voice that the chaos that passion creates has some sort of aiming mechanism. Passion may rule but reason needs to have a channeling influence on it. Passion ruling reason of course makes a lot of other things required in humanity not the least of which is forgiveness.