• Valentina Poletti

Analytical and Emotional Intelligence

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift." - Albert Einstein The analytical brain, i.e. our ability to reason, analyze, think logically and draw conclusions, has been the human species greatest blessing and curse at the same time. While it has given us the ability to modify our environment deeply in order to adapt it to our goals, and to increase our creative power, it has come at a great cost. Evolutionarily speaking, one could argue that actually this feature of ours is a disadvantage rather than an advantage: as history has shows us several times, we tend to use this ability to over-consume, destroy, and deprive our environment of all resources until we go extinct. This was the case for the Easter Islands and many empires. Now we are approaching an unprecedented period in history, where we are reaching this self destruction at a global scale. Given that evolutionarily speaking it is not very helpful, perhaps one would be inclined to argue then that it greatly improves the quality of our lives, and thus makes living more worthwhile. Alas even this has shown not to be the case. Studies comparing the happiness of indigenous people and modern societies clearly show the opposite. This point is also supported by the unprecedented amount of anti-depressants, other psychological drugs and recreational drugs that is consumed in modern day society. If anything it seems that technological progress is making us less happy. What is going wrong then? Is this brain power really that useless? In my opinion it is not a bad thing per se, the reason why it has become so problematic is that its importance has become so greatly emphasized, that we overuse it at the cost of the other essential parts of our brain, such as our emotional intelligence for instance. Scores on narcissistic tests given to college students show a significant increase in narcissistic trends in our society in the last decades. By definition, such features are a demonstration of low emotional intelligence. The kind of leaders we elect are a very good demonstration of the troubling level of emotional awareness of our population. It seems that millions of us actually praise a complete sociopath to become the political leader of an entire nation. Not only in politics, this trend is also very clear in the media, where the entertainment industry is flooded with narcissistic personalities. We not only condone, but applaud people with scarce emotional abilities. Lack of emotional intelligence leads to stupid decisions which do not consider social and environmental impact. It does not give enough importance to ethical consequences and to the true benefit of such decisions. Environmental destruction, exploitation of labor, slavery of humans and animals, are all consequences of this lack. Now that we are approaching a critical point in our history, a point where we might no longer be able to preserve our species, where we can no longer ignore the consequence of our actions, we are called to an urgent awakening. It is the time now to become emotionally conscious.

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