"Words without poetry lack passion; words without passion lack persuasion; words without persuasion lack power."

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Emotions: Immaturity or Treasure?

Addressing concepts of human emotion: Should we transcend emotion to benefit a situation? Are emotions viewed as ignorance?

     Remember the phrases "big girls don't cry" or "men don't cry?" These phrases and similar ones seem to inadvertently shape cultures view on emotions. Many of us grow up thinking it's bad to be upset and that we are not allowed to be emotional about situations we encounter. Over the course of my life, I have noticed that emotions are commonly stifled rather than dealt with. When I really dissected this concept, I came up with contradicting ideas.   

     I believe emotion naturally occurs within human beings and cannot be stifled. We are human. Even if a situation is viewed from the appropriate point of view, emotions will follow. I would venture to say that emotion is not ignorant nor evil, but rather beautiful and beneficial if the actions following the emotion are rightly accomplished. I do not ever want to transcend emotion. I want to instead achieve discernment and self-control, so my actions may be thoughtful and pleasing to my heavenly father. Life without emotion would be dull and without lesson.

     "Men owe the grandeur of their their lives to tremendous difficulties." -Charles Spurgeon

     I feel many people attempt to avoid emotion because they believe it is negative, largely due to their past experiences. Experiences of people, including themselves, reacting negatively out of their given emotion. Instead of learning from the beauty of their emotion, people try to cancel it out, which worsens the problem over time.

     I believe the key is what you do with the emotion. What does it lead to? It is good to be slow to anger, but if it does occur, the lesson is in how you deal with it. Do you cause harm out of your anger, or do you squelch your pride and love instead by putting the other person above your own selfish emotion. Example: lets say you inflict harm on others because of anger...your new objective is to learn from it. Realize it is wrong and apply it to your life. The same concept can be applied to an array of different emotions.

     However, I do not believe all anger, jealousy and other emotions are always negative- sometimes these emotions can be appropriate. This is evidence that perhaps emotions are not evil at the origin, but it is instead the fallen nature of this world that sours our convictions. Most every good thing outside of God is broken- even our emotion.

     "There can be no knowledge without emotion. We may be aware of a truth, yet until we have felt its force, it is not ours. To the cognition of the brain must be added the experience of the soul."  -Arnold Bennett. 

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