I’ve said it before in other venues, but it bears repeating: as a society, we need to stop giving so much respect and deference to emotions. I’ve gotten push-back on this idea before, but it’s really not that radical, nor that negative, a proposal.
I’m not recommending that we abandon emotions altogether (if that were even possible), or try to suppress them, a la the Vulcans in Star Trek. Emotions are a real, and significant, part of the experience of life. Everyone has them, and they are interesting and important. I don’t want to deny the validity and reality of any person’s emotional experiences, nor to dismiss the real pain and joy that emotional reactions can entail. The human experience is an emotional one, and emotional states can be useful in many ways. Joy over a success can lead one to try to repeat it in the future. Outrage over injustice can drive a person to act against it. Fear, as Gavin deBecker has eloquently pointed out, can protect us from real danger, which still exists in the world despite all our advances. Continue reading “Stop respecting emotions so much”