The Emotional Revolution

By Thomas Poulos

I think humanity needs an emotional revolution. Not to sound like a broken record on the malfeasance of capitalism that I am sure most of you are familiar with, but I resent the fact that emotions are commonly considered irrational in our capitalist society that emphasizes rationality. In fact, I find that even those individuals that embrace emotions and their vicissitudes still think that emotions are irrational.I disagree. I believe emotions are the most rational. They’re here. They’re real. Yet we continue to live in an environment that represses expression. Modern, industrial, developed societies have the privilege of a relatively high standard of life. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs underscores the idea that those with a higher standard of living have more freedom to worry less about basic sustenance and more about personal identity. Basically, we have the freedom to introspect, think critically about ourselves, and evolve emotionally. Even further, in many places in our country, we have the freedom to express ourselves after we’ve learned from this self-reflection. Yet we tell each other not to be ourselves. We tell each other to be what others want us to be. We tell each other not to express our emotions, to bury them in superficiality. Why? Apparently, because there’s just no room in life to focus on such soft issues like emotions and identity. Basically, emotions are an irrational beast that needs to be caged so that we can navigate through a world requiring efficiency and rationality. Not that I do not value efficiency and rationality, but I just think we are killing ourselves. We don not recognize that emotions have effects. If we ignore them and suppress them, the effects are almost always negative. Learning to express emotions allows us to approach them as we would anything else. They are important, they exist, and they are rational. They influence our decisions whether we like it or not. The better we get at critically examining and responding to our emotions, the healthier we will be. So, let’s have an emotional revolution. There is a lot of baggage out there, and some people have more of it than others. But we can deal with it. In fact, if we revolutionize our culture so that we live in a place full of expression and critical self-examination. They would be surrounded with people accepting and embracing their emotional states. We can all be each other’s therapists. It would not be that hard. We would all be happier. Economic equality would follow. Racial/ethnic/sexuality/gender/class divisions would slowly dissolve. This is how it all starts. We are all people. We are all emotional. We have different experiences, but in the end, we feel things. And that is the most universal and relatable trait human beings have. Start the revolution. Tell me how you feel, because you know I will tell you. Thomas Poulos is a managing editor for The Mac Weekly, He can be reached at [email protected]