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From Ancient Love to Current Feelings

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

Falling in love
Fell in love

“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. 

8 comments: On From Ancient Love to Current Feelings

  • Bradley, it is so refreshing to see someone your age having a lot of the same outlooks about life as an older person like myself have. Your thoughts about “feeling” rather than “thinking” is absolutely correct. Time and time again, I ask younger business clients or even associates this question–“What do you think about this?” And the first words out of their mouths are “Well, I feel…”
    Again, another great read.

    Mitch

    • Thank you! My soul is old. I’d be curious to know when you started to notice people use the words “thinking” and “feeling” interchangeably. Was it the advent of social media, or long before?

  • Common sense has also gone out with the baby in the bath water. The phrase I hear most-“do you, do what feels good to you.”

    Thank you for your blogs. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way. Although, you say it more eloquently than I.

    • Also, Love is more than a feeling. It’s an action.
      “Love is kind, patient, doesn’t envy, doesn’t boast, isn’t proud, isn’t rude, keeps no record of wrong doings. Loves doesn’t delight in evil, but rejoices in truth. It’s always protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres.”
      Summary of 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

      Sometimes the feeling runs so we think the love is gone. People don’t realize what all goes into actual “Love.”

    • Thank you much. And really appreciate your thoughtful feedback. Please let me know when you receive the book I sent you last week.

  • I come across something similar with my young hitters when it comes to hitting. I call it “real vs. feel”. They will argue with me about the bio mechanics of the swing based on what they “feel” and I have to kindly remind them that just because it “feels” right (actually don’t like the word “right” when it comes to hitting, I use efficient), doesn’t mean it is. A slow motion camera will usually help my argument. I wish real life had slow motion cameras to help people have a better perspective. I could use one at times, being the highly emotional type person that I am. One of your most profound statements you have ever said to me was, “emotions trump logic.” So simple but so true. Great post.

    • Thanks, Chase. Appreciate the glimpse into a world barely anyone gets to see. Give us more! Would love for you to write an article for manoverseas.com It’d be insightful & inspiring: your coaching philosophies, tiger mentality, all you’ve learned from guys like Bobby V, Coach Deggs, HoJo, etc. Maybe you’ll have some time on 10-hour flight to Taiwan? 😀

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