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The Head and the Heart

JesusMary, Mother of God

A lot of personality tests divide people between being more "emotional" or more "rational". Like those two qualities are mutually exclusive.

I did a Myers-Briggs workshop ten years ago and the MBTI test used to be given to Engineers Without Borders volunteers prior to their overseas deployment. The recent grads, like most young people believed most people thought the same way they did and had the same life priorities and goals. All these young peeps thought they had to do was go "over there" with their engineering mind and spread all that knowledge around like manure. Fix Africa.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. That mentality would not serve them well anywhere outside of their own minds. The goal was to prove to their (mostly) rational minds that other people think and solve problems differently than they do - and those solutions are just as valid as theirs.

So we gave them tests and taught them about community building. We did a lot of role playing - send them into a made-up community to build a stove - and see if they can figure out that the people don't need a stove, they need water (most did not).

There's nothing like empirical test results to appeal to an engineering mind. Numbers. Letters. Bombard them with enough data to enable them to graph something - hopefully they will realize that the graph is about them. Hope for a moment where they see that most people *do* have rational and emotional reasons for doing things and living the way they do. That these people are not deficient in some way. That emotional reasons and decisions can co-exist with rational ones.

Axe avec WoodIt's a Sign - Bloor Street West

I think that the older people get, the more we are (hopefully) influenced by other people and our environment - if we allow ourselves to be. The more a once rationally-minded younger person is exposed to and learns (passively or forcibly) and opens their mind to - the more they tend to shift toward the middle on the rational-emotional continuum.

The more we become aware of how much we don't know.

I've heard many people say that when they were younger they thought they knew everything - but the older they get, the more they realize how much they do not know.

We eventually learn that what we think is "the right thing" to do isn't always what should be done - and ethical or morally-based judgements are not always completely rational.

Of course this theory can go the other way, as well. A mostly emotional younger person can learn to see the "rational" side, too - but I have my doubts about that change in awareness happening at the same rate it has in the past - mostly due to the widespread lack of empathy amongst younger peeps these days.

But I have hope.

Being good requires both thinking and feeling. (link)
Me thinks.
And feels.


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