Tuesday, March 8, 2011

the emotional vs. the rational

It's been awhile since I have blogged since I haven't had enough hours in a day to do everything for the past year, it seems.
So here I am, on a practice run tonight.

On my way home I was listening to NPR and there was an Op-ed columnist who just wrote a fictional book entitled "The Social Animal."

The thrust of the interview, as I interpreted it, had to do with how our society sees the emotional and the rational as separate parts of our being. That being said, the value --in our society--is usually placed on the rational. David Brooks argues that instead of relying on rational decisions, people tend to be influenced by their underlying, unconscious emotional state, which is in turn influenced by the social relationships surrounding them.

Though he agrees we cannot control the emotional (as it is subconscious), we can "educate" the emotional:
Now, we don't have the choice to control our emotions, but we do have the power to educate our emotions. And we do that through literature and through art and music to give ourselves a repertoire of emotional experiences.
If you choose to go to a college,  you're educating your emotions by who you surround yourself with. If you go to the Marine Corps, different sort of education. So simply because I'm saying it's unconscious and emotional,  doesn't mean it's beyond our control. We have the choice to choose how we're going to educate our emotions.

Do we do enough to educate our emotions? Or, should our emotions educate us?

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