The Human Spirit with Emotional Intelligence
When I look back at life, in spite of all that I have been through and had a chance to witness, nothing has impressed me more than the human spirit. The human is more durable, resilient and tenacious than any other being on the planet. Especially if you consider all the experiences that life has thrown at us and we have survived. Just getting through childhood alone was a feet that should be commended. When I think of the constant reprimands, expectations and monitoring we all lived under as children of the fifty’s, I could quietly sob to myself.
World War ll ended in 1945, anyone born from 1946— 1964 are baby boomers. If you were born in the 50’s you were raised in the shadow fears of the time, communism, polio and the atomic bomb. We were the kids that had to crawl under our desks when that dreadful air raid alarm would sound and I can still hear it in my head. As if my school desk was going to save me from the atomic bomb. Being slightly traumatized at school, as if underlying fears weren’t enough, we then had to attend church. Being raised Christian, I had been convinced that I just didn’t measure up to what was expected. I was taught there were serious consequences, not only in this life, but I couldn’t even get out of them by dying. The punishments for falling short were waiting for me in the next life as well.
The next affront on my human spirit was made very clear to me on the billboards and the silver screen. Beautiful women and men were the only ones shown, doing fun things in pleasurable scenes wearing fabulous clothes. To add to the phasod, along came the perfect Barbie and Ken dolls of the time. It was becoming painfully clear that I wasn’t going to make the cut. It’s hard on the human spirit to recognize you aren’t anything comparable to what you have been convinced of being.
The American dream of owning your own home and a car was advertised everywhere. I can remember Dinah Shore singing, “See the USA in your Chevrolet.” My uncle was the only one that owned a car that I knew. We all walked, biked or road the bus everywhere. You could watch family life episodes weekly depicted as serine and functional with the perfect parents, if you were lucky enough to have a black and white TV. Our family was so far from what was portrayed on television. I always felt there had to be something really wrong with my family.
I couldn’t see the manipulative emotions used to encourage the envy driven capitalism of our time. I’m not sure everyone sees it now. As I grew older, I began to realize that we are being driven by our emotions, helplessly drug along by ignorance of self understanding.
The conditioning we have grown up with has happened to all of us in some capacity. What I have come to admire is our ability to work through all the negative messages we have been bombarded with through the years. The good news is that the human spirit now has an ally.
With the help of Daniel Goleman’s ground breaking work on Emotional Intelligence in 1995, we have come to understand ourselves better. Through his keen insight we now have tools to cultivate skills that will support the human spirit to adjust to the pace technology has set. We can now know when we are being emotionally manipulated by the media, government, religions and our entertainment.
Emotions are a huge part of the human spirit and yet I don’t remember ever being schooled in them. In fact the best part of this life will be found in our ability to feel and direct those feelings towards a satisfying and productive outcome through Emotional Intelligence.