RA Score Explained

The following is an explanation of each of the checklist statements for the Reality Acceptance Score.

Other People Exist

I am aware of my affect on other people.

  • Other people exist and we can ignore them, but we still have an affect on them. If you do not notice the people around you, you are not aware of your affect on them. You should be aware of other people just as they should be aware of you. Caring about other people leads to those people caring about you.

I care about issues that only affect other people.

  • Some issues only affect other people and do not affect you. Just because you are not personally affected by certain issues, you should care about issues that affect others. Someday, you will be affected by issues that do not affect others and you will be grateful for their care for you.

I try to be altruistic (showing a selfless concern for others).

  • Having a selfless concern for others may not always be possible, but it should be a general goal in your life. It is good for those you help and helps you feel good about yourself. The more altruistic behavior that you do, the happier you will be. Having a concern for others will lead to others having a concern for you.

No person is more important or better than another.

  • You can have more power or money than another person, but that does not make you a better person. You can have a better job title than someone else, but that does not mean you can treat them as a lesser human being. Reality is the same for everyone.

I vote for the candidate who is good for the most amount of people.

  • If your candidate is only concerned about issues that only affect you and others who are like you, they are not a candidate for all the people that they preside over. You are not just voting for yourself, you are voting as a community for the good of everyone in the community. An issue that only affects part of the community is not an issue that should take priority.

Not caring about something does not make it unimportant to others.

  • Not caring about something that you are not interested in is fine. Telling others that they should not care about it because you do not care about it is not. Not caring about women’s rights because you are not a woman does not make women’s rights unimportant. You caring about something that others do not care about does not make it unimportant to you.

I do not have an opinion about everything.

  • To have an opinion about something without knowing about that thing is an uninformed opinion. Opinions based on misinformation are misinformed opinions. An informed opinion is the only opinion worth expressing.

I very rarely lie to others or myself.

  • Lying is a habit that has more to do with you than the people to which you are lying. When you lie, you are hiding a truth that you either do not like or are ashamed of. You are most of the time merely delaying the exposure of the truth. The truth that you are afraid of is usually known by the people you are lying to and the consequences of the lie are never as bad as the revealed truth.

I care about other people and hope they care about me.

  • You will have to deal with other people many times in your life. You can choose to care about them or see them as unworthy of your care. If you see them as unworthy of your care, they will know you do not care about them and will, in turn, not care about you. In a world where no one cares about other people, hate and anger will permeate. You should care about the people you meet so that they care about you.

I am usually aware of how others feel emotionally.

  • Recognizing emotions in others is only slightly different than recognizing your own emotions. Other people show their emotions in different ways. The major emotions (sadness, anger, fear, and happiness) are usually readily apparent. Most of the time, we are ignoring the emotions of others because we do not want to deal them. Recognizing emotions of others indicates you care about them.


I do not follow any one religion.

  • Exploring religions is a part of many people’s lives. This exploration is a search for meaning in life. No one religion has all the answers to the questions that come up in life, though, many of them claim to have them. In choosing one religion, you are choosing one set of answers that could never encompass all of the questions in life.

I do not believe in the supernatural.

  • Believing in supernatural things and happenings does not make the supernatural exist. There is no confirmed evidence for the existence of the supernatural. Most forms of evidence appear in the form of eyewitness accounts with narrowly chosen explanations that do not consider simpler explanations. The reality of nature is far more extraordinary than any supernatural being that has ever been invented.

Life is not win or lose.

  • There is no point in life at which we win or lose at life. If you are happy and healthy most of your life you will live longer and have a more valued life. If you think money or power will make you a winner, I would encourage you to look beyond the wealth and power to see if you feel like a winner in your relationships, happiness, and health.

I am not overly concerned with obtaining wealth.

  • Wealth can only be achieved by focusing most of your energy on money. When you singularly focus on one aspect of life, the rest of your life will suffer. Having enough money to be comfortable is not the same thing as being wealthy. Being wealthy is having more money than 99% of people. To obtain this amount of wealth, your relationships, happiness, and health will be neglected.

I can talk to people with which I disagree.

  • Getting along with other people consists of people you agree with and people with which you disagree. Being able to talk to someone else who has a different opinion than you is essential to accepting reality. If your beliefs can not be questioned, you are not confident in your beliefs. Reality acceptance is about examining all information and being willing to change your mind if the information warrants it. Accepting new beliefs is as important as accepting other people.

I change my mind often.

  • If you think you know everything about life, you know very little about life. As you discover more aspects of life, you realize how much you can never know. Evolving your opinions about what you discover is important for growing as a person. Changing your mind is essential to this growth. Without it, your life is stagnant.

You can be a good person no matter your background.

  • People have many different backgrounds and histories. These histories can be made up of good and bad behaviors. These behaviors are based on your level of reality acceptance. If you are denying reality, you will make bad decisions. These bad decisions, however, do not define the person. It is never too late to accept the reality of your past bad behavior and grow as a person.

I think logically most of the time.

  • Logical thinking is an essential skill in life. If you can not discern real information from misinformation, you will not be able to think logically. Your eyes can see something that you know is probably not real. If you do not have logical skills, you may not be able to come up with more than one explanation for what you saw. You may, in the end, never find out the reality of what you saw, but with logic you can make an informed logical guess. Logic is a skill that must be developed.

You create your own meaning in life.

  • Searching for a meaning in life seems to be a pursuit of all living human beings. Finding an answer can be a life long search. Unless you choose a general meaning for you life, you will never find a specific answer. I have found that valuing time is the closest I have come to an answer for myself. In the end, the only meaning in life is to pursue a life that makes you happy. At the end of your life, you may figure out what life meant to you.

I enjoy thinking about many different things.

  • If you find yourself thinking only about a few subjects and not much else interests you, you are ignoring much of life. There should not be a subject that bores you to the point that you can not enjoy thinking about. Even drying paint can be scientifically and artistically interesting. Not everything has to interest you, but the world is made up of enough subjects that more than just a few things should interest you.


Science is the closest thing we have to examining reality without bias.

  • Even with science, we can never truly know reality with 100% certainty. Science can get us 99.99% certain on many questions we have about the world. Science helps us understand time, space, and our everyday lives. Unlike opinions from people who have many different biases, science only accepts verifiable facts. You can not buy scientific facts, though many try. Understanding science is key to understanding reality.

I do not believe in things that have little evidence for their existence.

  • Just as a detective can not solve a mystery without evidence, you can not prove the existence of something with little to no evidence. You can continue examining a mystery to see if more evidence comes to light, but you should not base a belief on flimsy evidence. If you choose to believe in these things knowing there is little evidence for their existence, your beliefs are not based on reality.

Evolution has been proven through an over-whelming amount of evidence.

  • Earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old. Life has been on earth for approximately 3.5 billion years. Homo sapiens evolved 300,000 years ago. These huge numbers must be understood when examining evolution. Just in the time that humans have been mapping the earth, the earth has evolved and land masses have changed shape. Every living thing on earth is an example of evolution’s constantly changing forms. If you do not believe in evolution, you do not believe in reality.

The human body is not perfect.

  • Our bodies are efficient and can do many amazing things. They are definitely flawed in many ways, though. Other animals can run faster, withstand more damage, get less illnesses, see better, hear better, and have better olfactory senses. The word “perfect” as a concept alone makes it insufficient in describing the complexity of the human body. It is a mythical concept that can never be achieved. The human body’s imperfections make humans unique among all animals.

Humans are not superior to other animals.

  • Humans are animals who think themselves as special because we can do things that other animals can not. Many animals can, in turn, do things that humans can not. Just as no human is superior to another human, humans are not superior to other animals. Humans certainly have the power to wipe out other species, but, if we did, we would be hurting ourselves just as much as other animals.

Genetic diversity is important to all species.

  • One of the great lessons that we have learned from evolution is that genetic diversity is important for a species to thrive. The diversity in species allows those species to adapt to more diverse environments. In humans, we know that breading with someone who is too closely related to you can lead to genetic disorders and defects. Genetic diversity helps all species become more adaptable to the world around them.

Asking questions is important.

  • Science is completely built on asking questions about what we do and do not know. If we did not ask questions about the human body, we would not have advanced medical care to the point that it is today. If kids did not ask questions, they would only know what others wanted to tell them. If their questions go unanswered, their curiosity will eventually die and they will stop being interested in life.

Failure is important to learning.

  • Failure is an important concept in science. If you are only testing things that you know will succeed, you are not practicing science. Most of the testing in science has a negative result. When you fail at something, you learn from that failure. Each failure builds upon your knowledge and gives you a better chance at success in the future. Understanding the failures eliminates those same failures in the future. Eventually, success becomes a more likely outcome.

I refer to a consensus of experts regarding concepts I do not understand.

  • Being an expert in science does not mean you are an expert in all disciplines of science. An expert in Physics will probably need to defer to an expert in Psychology if they are trying to figure out someone else’s behavior. From the time we are born, we must defer to the expertise of others to understand the world. The longer you spend on a discipline, the more you will master it. An expert can become so focused on one discipline that they ignore other experts in his or her own discipline or other disciplines. For this reason, a consensus of experts must be consulted to weed out too narrowly focused results.

I understand how the scientific method works.

  • The scientific method is a series of procedures used to test a hypothesis in order to derive a re-testable result. When people complain about how long medications take to come to market, they most likely do not understand the scientific method. The exacting methods employed by scientists are repetitive, require patience, and demand adherence to precise procedures. All these things take time, but they ensure that most variables have been considered to find verifiable results that can be used for further scientific study.


I get regular exercise.

  • Good physical health is important physically and mentally. It will prolong your life and allow you to be a happier person. You will get less injuries and suffer less aches and pains in old age. Being sedentary will definitely be a detriment to your health. Getting too much or not enough exercise can lower your health.

I accept medical advice from medical experts.

  • Medical experts have gone to school for many years and many have practiced medicine for more years. If your doctor tells you that something will improve your health, he or she is giving you that advice with a great deal of knowledge behind it. Some advice is hard to take because it can be a major change to your life. You can ignore the advice, but it will be to the detriment of your health.

I do not hate anyone or anything.

  • Hate is an extreme version of anger. Being angry is natural, but prolonged anger toward people or things leads to hate. Hate is an emotion that is unhealthy and never based on the reality of what you hate. The word hate is used casually today. Many people hate Mondays. The extreme nature of the word expresses an exaggerated, negative, and unrealistic point of view. Removing hate from your life and language will improve your health and happiness.

Mental illness is a serious problem for many people.

  • Hopefully, you find this an obvious statement. There are many types of mental illness and many causes. Trying to deal with the world when your brain is not functioning properly can be confusing and difficult. Labeling a person as crazy, lazy, or stupid is a denial of what is actually happening in someone’s brain. Dealing with the problems of mental illness is key to understanding other people. Other people are more complex than you might give them credit for.

Health and happiness are important to me.

  • Health and happiness are closely linked. You can not have one without the other. Happiness is an important aspect of your mental and physical health. People who live the longest are healthy and happy. If you ignore your health or happiness, the quality and longevity of your life will decrease.

I do not harbor resentment toward others.

  • Resentment is a negative emotion that only breads more negative emotions. Whether it is justified or not, the resentment will never lead to a healthy mental state. You can choose to continue harboring the resentment and let it affect your health or you can understand that other people are not dealing with issues of their own. Only by talking to other people can we understand their motives.

Mental and physical health are related.

  • Physical health is much easier to notice than mental health, but both are important to your overall health. If you only focus on one or the other, you are not observing your complete health. Maintaining good mental and physical health will improve your life and the lives of those around you. Good physical health will help your mental health and vise versa.

I eat healthy foods most of the time.

  • Healthy foods are fruits, vegetables, and other unprocessed, sugar-free, and salt-free foods. This is not a complete list of all healthy foods, but it definitely does not include fast-food, most restaurant food, or junk food that has little to no nutritional value. If you feel bad after eating, you are probably eating too much food that is not healthy for you. When you eat healthy food, you feel energized and satisfied. Unhealthy food should only be consumed periodically.

I do not regularly consume foods or drinks that have no nutritional value.

  • Foods that have no nutritional value are foods that only have a negative effect on your body. The pleasure they give you is short lived and regular consumption of these things will lower your health and lead to physical and mental health problems. A moment of pleasure is not worth a lifetime of aches and pains. Non-nutritional items should only be consumed periodically and should always be accompanied by nutritious items.

I am not an aggressive or stressful person.

  • Continued anger or stress can lead to many physical and mental health problems. These problems will shorten your life, decrease the value of your life, and push most of the people in your life away from you. Aggression and stress are both external manifestations of your inner thoughts. A person who is mentally healthy will deal with the same situation without aggression or stress. Your internal anguish and anxiety must be dealt with before they will go away.
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