We all know the intelligence quotient,IQ of a person assesses their intellectual capacities. In a perfect world it tells your ability to reason, solve problems, retain facts and correlate them. You can take the test online for free if you dare. But the Lord knows we don’t want to quantify ourselves as stupid. Let people form opinions on their own.
Emotional intelligence, EQ, is the ability to recognize, understand, and manage emotions. Some might say it is more important than IQ and can detect the success or failure of achieving one’s goals. You not only know what is going on in your psyche but you can tell pretty much tell how someone else is receiving your message at any given time. You sense the mood of the crowd and act accordingly.
This is all very key to cognitive psychology which relies on your ability to look at your thoughts and decipher which ones are appropriate and which are the result of you distorting reality. I have been playing this game lately as that little thing in me called depression has reared its ugly head. Nothing drastic but the beginnings I know so well. Hopefully I am smart enough to nip it in the bud. Been there. Done that.
If you haven’t been there it is hard to understand. People will have pity as in feeling sorry at another’s plight but then they move on. It is the least amount of feeling you can have towards your fellow man or woman but at least it is a start. Once you have turned a caring eye you may feel sympathy for a person. Now we are getting below the surface of both you and the victim which is a good stopping off point.
A victim is a person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action. I would add this can be actual or perceived. Some people have been hit between the eyes with injury or tragedy. Take this week. There are victims on all sides of the equation. But some are quick to take on the mantle of strife in the hope of getting benefits which may or may not deserved. Sometimes whole sections of a population or interest group describe themselves as victims. Seeing if they warrant the appellation makes grist for the mill of lawsuits and firebrands. But I digress.
The next step is compassion. You not only see a hurt but you want to do anything you can to help that person alleviate the problem. Whether financial or emotional you are willing to give of yourself and your time. Sooner or later that closeness gives way to empathy which is the highest form of connection. I really do feel your pain as I walk in your shoes and understand the consequences of your dire straits.
I was hit over the head this morning by an email from an old friend in Arizona. It seems a former golfing buddy of ours was shot and killed in an incident in western Arkansas on Saturday. He was going to the aid of his relative and was mowed down as she had been. A kind and gentle man is now gone. What do I feel? Shock and sadness but most of all sympathy for his lovely wife and their kids. They had worked hard and built a beautiful home in Desert Mountain. I had never heard of Horatio, Arkansas before but I have now. In a very strange way I now have a connection with violence in America. I didn’t think that would happen.
As I watched events unfold this week I really didn’t think I could see anything worse but I did the next day. And then the next. And the next. In an off the wall way you can almost understand the rage of a jilted lover or fired employee. But to fire point blank into a car or pick off cops one by one requires a certain type of callousness that is hard to comprehend. It is a detachment from any semblance of human emotion or feeling that hopefully we all should have in our hearts. Again I wonder if that is the case?
I received other emails this morning from here and there. Some were screaming that black lives matter and others were touting that all blacks were culpable for the problems of America. I guess in all the rubble I was looking for some voice of sanity and reason that could help me make sense of so much. You see the emotional quotient EQ of the best leaders in business and politics are defined by their compassion. It is the one who can appeal to all sides and truly feel people’s pain. They are in a word empathetic.
We see very little if any empathy amongst our politicians.Obama could have had it but he became professorial. The Donald is too egotistical. Hilary is too cold and scripted. The Pope has got it and that is why people love him.He touches you right in your gut. He makes you want to be a better person. You don’t have to live in a poor neighborhood but at least understand what it means. Some of us have never seen the tough side of life. Many today have never worked with their hands.We have to engage in more than a patronizing or perfunctory way.
I can’t help but feel we have to take the gloves off. We have to meet the problem of discrimination head on. We have to understand what it is like to be an honest black person who is painted with the same brush as thugs and gang members. We can’t look with pity but with empathy. We have to roll up our sleeves and roll down our rancor and one mindedness. We have to sit in a squad car and feel what it is like to not know whether you are going to live or die on the next 911 call. It is just not enough to send condolences. I don’t quite know how but in some way have to look inside our hearts and know we have not done even close to enough. We just can’t go on this way. What is our national emotional quotient,our EQ? You tell me.
Ted The Great
My golfing buddy was a black man who was killed by another black man. Don had been a very successful businessman with Coors and Kraft Foods. He was visiting family in Arkansas for the summer.
A black Dallas police lieutenant was on the news tonight. He spoke of his being stopped almost a dozen times over a 4 year period for either a minor infraction or a traffic check. His blackness transcended his unfailing duty as a policeman.
On TV I was watching the forest fires running rampant through the west. It seemed an apt metaphor for what is happening in our country today.
I played golf with a friend the other day. As we sat having a drink after our game I stated the I thought this was the worst week for our country since 9/11. He looked at me with a bewildered frown. He’s good guy but incredibly I don’t he had any idea of what was going on in the world.