The other day I came upon a movie on the telly. The Iron Lady. Meryl Streep plays the character of Margaret Thatcher.
I found it a good movie. What makes a good movie for me? I measure the quality of a movie by the amount of time I spend thinking about it and reflecting on what the director and actress are trying to get across to their audience/viewership. I like to gauge how much the movie tries to indoctrinate the viewer with current political trends or fashionable thinking.
In the movie, the Old Woman grumbles to her doctor when she has to undergo a medical checkup, "Today everything is "feelings", not "thinking". She illustrates her point with various examples.
Got me thinking. (note the word)
Am I a thinker or a feeler? I am posing that question to myself and I don't want others answering it for me either! (I know it could be construed that I am feeling here, not thinking). But I don't agree as I want to remain focused on my concept.
The next question that comes to me is how has society evolved? Are we a more thinking or a more feeling society?
consider some of my observations
In our society we are constantly bombarded with news. American news. Russian news. British news. Chinese news. German news. African news. On and on and on it goes. Some channels are on the hour, others even on the half hour. Every channel is trying to convert YOU.
Usually the same message, pounded into the public, relentlessly, hour after hour, day after day, week after week. (you get the idea by now).
Is news factual or social? Are they trying to "mobilise" or "pacify" the masses?
To me the answer is clear, FEELINGS. Feelings dominate thinking.
Because feelings can get people off their neutral behinds to do "something". Make us "activists" for some or other cause. What mobilises people? An endless array of facts? Not likely. A gruesome story where some massive social injustice has occurred? Certainly the latter option.
Listen to reporters and their descriptive adjectives and adverbs. Over-emphasis. A brutal killing; a vicious massacre; a savage attack. Yet what I write here is not what the journalists use; two or three of these words in a row are required. A better example could be, a cruel, calculating, savage attack on the innocent, helpless bystanders. Of course emotion is injected into the words of the reporter as they "look deeply into your eyes"; they are not talking to an audience, no they are talking to you.
Try to imagine two people having an argument. One is calm, tone of voice measured and a recital of facts are given. The other is passionate, eyes staring wildly, voice animated and loud, hand gesturing to make a point. They could both be describing the same event. Who would you want to listen to? I certainly know who the public in general would choose.
A quiet environment encourages thinking. Where it is loud, even with music, emotions are stirred up, feelings are aroused.
The contrast was clearly seen between Adolf Hitler and Winston Churchill. Hitler evoked emotion, Churchill evoked a base for thinking, for building resolve. When I heard some of Churchill's speeches, I was almost disappointed as it was almost anti-climactic.
The emotions that Hitler evoked led a nation to destruction whereas the thinking that Churchill evoked saved a nation in dire circumstances.
Feelings can be dangerous as they can be exploited. Beware!
If you can't think something through, then realise that you are probably at risk.
Can feelings be discounted? Certainly not.
What is the key then between good feelings and bad feelings?
A simple answer through a simple question; "are they your own feelings or those of another?"
If the answer is affirmative, then the course of action decided upon will be consistent with your own thinking and character.
If the answer is negative, then one must THINK. Who has evoked these feelings in me? If God, then they are good, if Man, they may be wrong, particularly if your actions will benefit the ambitions of the unscrupulous, I think of the masses here in South Africa, who sometimes react rather than thinking first before undertaking any rash actions.
Earlier I mentioned God evoking feelings within us.
How can one know?
Usually through simple means, are you going to help another? Are you feeling positive or negative emotions?
I don't think we must over-simplify, sometimes anger is justified (when you see a bully tormenting a weaker person).
But in all cases, feelings are not meant to completely override our thinking and common sense.
My wife is a woman of feelings and I have learnt to heed what she says to me Nearly every single time she is right (don't tell her), but I do apply my thinking to what she has said and my thoughts usually justifies what she decided in a moment. I admit my thinking takes a bit long (often) which can result in her being annoyed due to my lack of responsiveness.