|The Faces of Emotion|
Thanks for returning. In my last entry I started a discourse on suggesting a better world requires a better you. If Plato is accurate that “Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge” then it is imperative that we begin the work of mastering these areas. This entry I want to discuss what I believe is probably the second most powerful of the three things Plato mentions and that is emotion. I might even add that emotion could trump knowledge in many cases as the most prolific.
Knowledge is potent but it’s bland and tasteless. Knowledge independent of emotion is color without flair, a movie without action or drama, food without taste, and a canvas without color, shape, and imagery. When people discover knowledge there typically is an emotion attached to it that drives them to become excited or depressed about what they've just learned.
Emotion is the affective, motivating, and interpretive part of our being. It literally converts raw data the mind processes into sensual reality. People rarely act on anything without emotion. How many times have you heard people say “I’ll do it if I feel like it or “I just don’t feel like it”? An unspoken mantra for society revolves around feeling. If it feels good people do it. We typically help people when we feel like it. Most people love based on feeling. Others work jobs based on feeling. I’ve made the statement for years that “emotion is the drug of the masses”.
Our physiology is neurologically constructed to produce emotion. Therefore our being is so hardwired to feel until it’s hard to escape the grip of emotion. We tend to interpret truth and make life-changing decisions based on what we feel in the moment. The world revolves around various positive and negative emotions. People make war based on anger or emotions that induce a state of fear, another emotion. Peace has even been brokered because someone felt like we needed to make amends. We use alcohol, drugs, and engage in sexual activities to chase a much coveted emotion that comes from pleasure. Listen I could literally go on forever with this. We are emotional junkies who will fight to our last breath to defend what feels right and be factually wrong. I state here for the record emotion is good when used properly. Please understand my revelations on this.
When something as powerful as emotion has the greatest potential to do unmatched good it stands to reason that the polar opposite in misguided emotion can be the greatest undoing. Adolph Hitler the devious and maniacal leader of Germany in the early twentieth century ruled with fear, intimidation, and deception. He once said "I use emotion for the many and reserve reason for the few”. Adolph preached nationalism mixed with imperialism and intentionally aimed at the emotional heart-strings of people to bend them to his will. Emotion unchecked can create a frenzy of mindless souls who indiscriminately unleash, moral degeneration, pain, and carnage on present and future generations.
Making excuses to please our emotions will lead to a wild, untamed, entitled, selfish, and amoral society. A key piece to success is learning how to manage our emotions so that we can make good, sound, personal, and business decisions. A feeling may be good and empowering in the moment but it can get you a life sentence of misery, poverty, loss, and dead dreams. You can achieve incredible success and be effective in impacting the world but it will come at a price. Managing your emotions is the price you must pay to succeed and another step on the journey to MASTERING YOURSELF.
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