Humans are creatures of emotion, there is no denying it. Without emotion, we would be nothing more than a calculating machine, little more than a computer made out of flesh and blood. Without emotion, we would have no purpose in life. What point would there be to reaching for the stars if their beauty did not fill our hearts with such wonderment? What would be the point of risking our lives for those around us, if we did not ache at their pain?
Yet, even though our emotions give so much meaning to our lives, they can cause us so much grief. When a loved one dies, when those we care about turn their backs on us, we are filled with so much pain. This pain can stay with us for days, filling our every thought and hindering our lives. Our what of longing? Why must we crave what is seemingly beyond our reach, why must we put so much effort into attaining it when it might slip out of our grasp in the end? Might we be better served without emotion? As Spock would say, "We disposed of emotion, Doctor. Where there is no emotion, there is no motive for violence."
However, despite the seeming disadvantages of emotion, I would argue that our emotions are one of our greatest assets. While the Vulcans in Star Trek aspire to be rid of their emotions so that logic is the ruling factor in their decisions, they did so because their emotions were so overwhelming, so beyond their control that their entire species was driven to centuries of war because of it. As all good sci-fi does, the Vulcans reflect a side of humanity, the argument of logic over emotion.
In truth, ridding ourselves of emotion is not the answer. Emotion is in everything we do. While it lures us with empty promises, and false hopes, it also drives us to protect those we care about, it pushes us to do our very best. Instead of trying to escape our emotions, we should understand them and learn from them. Why do we feel the things we do?
I for one, have found myself feeling all sorts of conflicting emotions in the past year. I tried to sort them out, but I haven't given myself much direction. In a series of following posts, I plan on talking about different emotions. Specifically, what I think they represent, and how I feel it affects me. When this is all done, maybe I'll have more answers. Perhaps you will, too.