The concept of “love” is so important that I rarely tell someone, “I love you,” unless I’d be willing to die for them. It seems crazy that we’d make the ultimate sacrifice for another person. But love is an irrational intensity of affection and loyalty we’ve developed over millennia to ensure our species’ survival. There is no more powerful force of humanity than the emotional attachment or “love” we feel for another person.
“Three things will last forever–faith, hope and love–and the greatest of these is love.” -1 Corinthians 13:13
“Love” is a relatively new thing. Marriages were frequently arranged in ancient times for reproductive and financial reasons, thereby ensuring continuity of family and the farm or trade.
Plato, the philosopher, believed non-sexual love was its highest form. He and Socrates (pronounced “Sow-crates” for those who haven’t seen “Bill & Ted’s”) thought “platonic” love wasn’t warped by physical attraction or lust after a beautiful body. Lots of folks in subsequent eras, including Medieval Europe, were skeptical of romantic love due to the stupid shit people tend to do when “falling in love.” Lord knows I’ve made bad decisions when emotions were high.
I once missed two final exams in college to drive nine hours to visit a girl in another state. I was nuts about her—so anxious to see the gal my speedometer climbed above 100 mph. The policeman told me at that speed I’d have no chance of avoiding a deer in headlights, which is how I felt when I arrived at her apartment. After a nine-hour drive, I waited another 90 minutes at her doorstep until she got home from being out with a “friend.” What a dummy. I should’ve heeded the words of one Biz Markie, who said, “Don’t ever talk to a girl who says she just has a ‘friend.'”
The Age of No Wisdom
Fortunately, most people get to choose their mate these days. If you’re no dummy, you’ll avoid those who have a “friend.” The industrial age brought about new ways for folks to earn money independent of family farms. This enabled them to branch out for a larger pool of potential suitors and more economic prospects. City centers and urbanization fostered further prosperity. Then the arrogantly-labeled Enlightenment period brought about individual rights and the pursuit of happiness. All of which resulted in the Age of Romanticism, and a higher value placed on the importance of romantic love and “feelings.”
Our American culture has taken “feelings” to new heights, as the value we place on them seems to be at an all-time high. People prefer to feel good rather than to do good. This notion is promoted in our higher institutions of learning where students are often taught to follow their heart instead of their head, and “what to think” instead of “how to think.” Our era may someday be known as The Age of No Wisdom.
“More formalized education doesn’t presuppose wisdom. The former requires qualities of intelligence and a modicum of determination; the latter requires depth and contains deeper qualities of character.” – Man Overseas
We’re graduating more closed-minded “know-it-alls” who couldn’t possibly be wrong about something if they “feel” it strongly enough. Upon entering the “real world,” they’ll protect their “feelings” at all costs, especially if considering an alternative viewpoint might harm their sensibilities. Arming yourself with facts and reason to get through to these windbags is an exercise in futility unless you have a plan to first change their “feelings.”
How to Spot the A-Hole in an Idiocracy
The upside of the “feelings” movement is that an idiot has never been easier to identify—he’s simply one whose “feelings” and emotions readily overwhelm his intellect. His opinions and “feelings” seem intertwined; thus, a challenge to his opinion is taken as a personal attack. Whereas we once joked opinions are like assholes in that everybody has one, nowadays people have so many opinions they’ve become complete assholes.
“I don’t know enough about the issue and haven’t had a chance to educate myself enough to formulate an opinion.” – No one ever
An over-reliance on “feelings” is the product of our feminized culture, which I discussed in last week’s post. Masculinity and femininity aren’t the only aspects of human nature now blended. If you haven’t noticed the new thinking/feeling phenomenon in America, ask anyone under 30 what they “think” about something, and notice how often they tell you how they “feel,” as if thinking and feeling are the same thing.
The problem isn’t that Johnny can’t read. The problem isn’t even that Johnny can’t think. The problem is that Johnny doesn’t know what thinking is; he confuses it with feeling.” – Thomas Sowell
Those who do the least amount of thinking in our society usually have the most to say. Nevertheless, they’ll give you wordy evidence of the fact they actually have nothing to say at all.
How do you “feel” about this? Leave a comment here on the blog.