Friday, April 25, 2008

US Elections, Emotional Intelligence and Greek Drama

EQ applications?

Why is emotional expression so important? It means, basically, having words for thing.

Now, let’s take the current election. There’s a FEEL to it that most of us try to grasp, try to find words for.

I lament the passing of the Classic Education – you know, liberal arts, great literature, music, Verdi operas and Shakespeare’s plays – because at some point in each of our lives, there is going to come a time when you are going to need a vocabular that only the classics, history and myths can supply for you.

This is why all lovers are poets, and also, all mothers whose sons die young are poets.

In his article, “Yes, it’s politically incorrect but race matters,” Anatole Kaletsky reminds us of some facts – that there is nothing new under the sun, that we can at times find ourselves in our own Greek tragedy.” (This article is entitled "Yes, it's politically incorrect, but race matters.")

What does this mean – Greek tragedy? Kaletsky continues,

“The 2008 US election has all the makings of a Greek tragedy, in which noble heroes and heroines are forced to follow a course to catastrophe, divinely preordained as punishment for sins and blkunders committed by their forefathers in the dim and distant past. In acting out their ineluctable doom, the eloquent protaganists do not just destroy themselves but also their cities, their nations and even their entire civilisations.”
Strong words … but if you’ve ever found yourself caught in a 'Greek drama', you know the “ineluctable feeling.” There’s a force to it, a drag force. There's no other word for it ... and that's what we're after here. You may have to go THROUGH it, but it's 10x as bad if you can't describe it.

It’s awful, of course, but it is also helpful to know the words for it. For instance, watching the kid down the hall who seems to want his job, and yet be, at the same time, determined to get fired. And all this flying beneath his own radar screen.

I created a Mythology course just for this sort of thing. One should not be, for instance, Prometheus, without knowing it; but then of course you might want to behave differently, and therefore change the outcome.

There is always free will, of course. Feelings change. They also needn’t dictate behaviors. Why would you base any decision on a "fleeting feeling"? (One of the chapters in my course, actually, is called "A Permanent Reminder of a Temporary Feeling," from the J. Buffet song. (How is that different from intuition? Take THE EQ COURSE and find out.) Part of the joy of developing your emotional intelligence is understanding, finally, that you are not your feelings, and that you always have options.

Unless you’re in a Greek drama of course, under the pen of Sophocles. (Bear in mind also that if you aren’t mindful, you can well be playing a part in someone ELSE’S Greek drama.)

I do a lot of DATING COACHING. I nearly always have a client who is embroiled in their lover's DRAMA, just playing a part without being aware of what's going on. You should also be aware of this in dating someone newly divorced, for instance, or someone who hasn't resolved stuff from the past. You will find yourself in a 'drama' - where you are mistaken for a pst wife, a past girl-friend, even a parent!)

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