• Posted: Jul 21, 2010 01:18:23
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How many times have you heard that one?? And what, really, does it mean?
It means: I didn't think, I let my emotions rule. It implies that emotions do not always lead us to wise actions or decisions. It acknowledges we have a higher, wiser facility at our disposal if we'd only use it.
Let me ask you something. Look around you. Think about all the programs you watch and listen to, to the words in music you hear, to the appeal of ads that assault you. Then think back to your formal education and your parental promptings. Where in all of that do you find something that prompts you to caution when listening to your emotions, that encourages you to instead search out verifiable fact, then think carefully and act accordingly? Where in all of that do you find reinforcement for critical thought over blind gullible emotion? I submit: nowhere, except possibly that single teacher or parent whose words sometimes echo in your brain, but against whom you earnestly rebel in inglorious emotion.
It's also true that we live in a world of rules, rules that tell us when to stop, when to go, when to be somewhere, what to do, how to do it, and what to expect. And we know, if we follow all those rules we will avoid embarrassment, avoid jail, get a paycheck, be successful, etc., etc. But seldom in all those rules are we encouraged either to think or emote. Rather, rules seem to dehumanize us in both of those directions. And so, against rules we further rebel.
What is left to us? Praying to God?? Will God, through our emotions or through rules lain down in religious teachings, help us to see the wisest way for us to follow? Clearly, some believe that is so. And for others, a particular poet or philosopher or political pundit helps them to see the way. But again, nowhere or seldom are we encouraged to think, to use our own individual facility for critical thought in order to discover verifiable facts and reason a wise course to follow, sans emotion, sans the dictate of rules.
Why is that? Why is that so? I do not see the wisdom of cutting off my head to please either blind emotion or the dictates of rules devised by others.
May you not lose your head either. Instead, may your own capacity for reason forever unlock the very best in you.
Saturday, July 11th, 2009
11 mm 52 mm