21 Apr Even Robots Need Blankets
The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing – Blaise Pascal.
Frequently it is heard, when our actions or thoughts appear unreasonable due to their being based on emotion, that we should think about things logically. What defines logical thinking? And why would a logical thought process that disqualifies emotion as a viable factor be imposed on someone?
Logic can be defined as a series of axioms clearly related to a premise from which a conclusion can be drawn. Thus, an outburst by a depressed person because they are not able to convey their emotions would appear arbitrary, when in fact the outburst is completely logical assuming the process is fairly reviewed:
- The person is suffering from depression (in silence).
- The person would like to talk about how they feel but find they cannot for whatever reason.
- An emotional eruption ensues.
The above example is regularly experienced by observers as follows:
- There is a person.
- An emotional eruption ensues.
When confronted with the outcome of a process that includes emotion, people would show concern for the consequence because it does not fit society’s standard for logical thought progression. It depicts emotion as a feasible factor. It allows for emotion to be displayed as an acceptable mode of reaction. When looked upon closely, one notices that society discredits emotion by referring to it as melodramatic, overreaction, unreasonableness, childishness, pettiness, insanity, or in an excessively patriarchal society – feminine.
For example, a person has a “break down” while stuck in traffic on the way home. They had to take their pet to the veterinary because it came down with cat flu and this distraction caused a series of mistakes at work that supplemented to their day funneling into their list of Worst Days Ever. Or perhaps they’re just sick and tired of travelling for three hours a day to a job which adds little value to their existence, that they may only be bound to for the purpose of paying the bills. We all have days where we feel life is handing us too much. An emotional reaction to days of that nature should not be undermined and the freedom to express angst in the midst of it is more than okay.
Accepting this kind of situation and showing no or little emotion is often thought of as adult, which in my opinion is obscene. The presentation and severity of one’s emotions should not be based on age, but society persists on encouraging a zombie-like cornucopia, void of emotion and feelings. This is in part a product of strength mounting, a society-built pedestal, where weakness is it’s old and frail rival, but is often known as pain. The two are pit against one another when they are in fact two sides of the same coin.
Strength is not the absence of weakness, but rather the conquering of it – as weakness is not the expression of pain, but the avoidance of it. Having bouts of both strength and weakness is okay. To be more precise, it’s human.
An emotionally mature adult accepts and confronts whatever emotions they may experience instead of ignoring them. The concept that avoiding feelings in favour of apathetic solutions represents maturity or strength is both illogical and illusionary.
In my experience, actions based on emotions are thought to be illogical. Or logic in today’s society more often than not excludes emotional motivations – not to say that logic is overly common in the 21st century. This disqualifies people who are emotive from being thought of as logical. When humans, by nature, are emotional creatures. Irony abounds.
People should not have to sacrifice their emotions to have their opinion or views valued. Feeling emotion is key in the human experience. Any efforts to undermine this fact can be thought of as the perpetuation of zombie culture. Observe the normalization of people passing vagrants and it will become apparent how entrenched society is in advocating a soulless culture that isolates the individual so as to create inequality and a lack of empathy and sympathy towards others. If every person fends for themselves other people’s suffering is of little concern. This immunizes people from feeling emotion towards other people, thus securing a platform in which to relinquish emotion from being applied to one’s self.
Note the poem by German Lutheran pastor. Martin Niemöller, on the Nazis rise to power:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
This poem presents a fairly straight-forward message that the isolation of certain groups or sects occur methodically for the purpose of control, which can be prevented or protested at the very least, if people feel enough to act.
Humans are not machines. But the exile of emotion from society as a valued factor of logic will indubitably lead us on a path where calculations on our well-being will be saturated with apathy.
Do not let people or any system undermine your feelings. Smile for the silly things; laugh at the nonsense; cry when you are overwhelmed; grumble at your misfortune; hop around when you are excited; clap to show you are impressed; sigh if you are tired; dance to the beat; love when you love.
Your emotions are your own, and they are justified. Maybe not to the world, but to you – in the end that’s all that matters.