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It’s my contention, after being a public school and college instructor, that the emphasis on education in the U.S. is all about expanding student’s minds and making sure their physical bodies are strong. However, there is very little education about how to manage emotions as evidenced by bullying and other public school drama that goes on.
I’d very much like to see a resurgence of support for the arts and humanities in all our educational institutions. The arts and even the study of history, cultures, and religions, are about the exploration and affects of human emotions on what was and is going on out in the wider world. I mean, on a macro level, if Adolph Hitler had had a different upbringing and could manage his paranoia, would he have tried to conquer the world? On the micro level, would we be able to understand that when our boss yells at us, it might be because of something going on at home? If we can figure that out, then we can go home we won’t yell at our family members in turn.
Emotions are like dominoes because we’re magnets, to one degree or another, for the emotions of others. Unfortunately our culture doesn’t make room for expressing big emotions in public. Even big displays of joy make people uncomfortable. So what we do is apologize for our individual laughter or tears. Those kinds of emotions are okay when it’s a communal experience like when watching a funny or sad movie with other people or when we’re in church, but it’s almost always taboo when something makes us happy or cry when no one else is feeling it.
So, how do we fix this situation? One answer is simple, consume as many stories as you can and try to understand all the emotional stuff that the characters are going through. That’s one great thing about novels. We get to hear the character’s inner dialogues. We get to see where their prejudices or conditioned responses from past experiences trip them up, which makes it so satisfying when they realize their mistakes. But you can’t stop there. You have to compare yourself to the characters to see if you can relate to anything they are going through.
Using stories as personal growth tools, is one of the reasons I created my podcast Story-Power and Ûdemy course, Saving the World One Story at a Time. I want to help people learn a measure of emotional intelligence, which is the ability to manage our emotions. I mean you could go for therapy to learn emotional intelligence, and sometimes that’s the best course of action when you’ve gone through something extreme. But identifying with characters with similar problems to yours is one way to take a step back to see how they handle their troubles. And then possibly emulate them.
I’m writing this post because of all the world wide turmoil going on right now, and because of some stressful things going on in my extended family. Emotions are running high in lots of different sectors of the world. If we can’t manage our fear, sorrow, cynicism, and even hatred, the human race could be in big trouble.
I have faith, though, that even though things look bad right now, I believe that there are lots of people who are taking a step back and examining how what’s going on in the world is affecting them. They’re taking time to examine their emotions. That’s a really good thing.
Welcome to my new followers. Thanks for joining us here. I hope all of you who follow are doing well.
Lucinda Sage-Midgorden © 2023
The Space Between Time
Lucinda is the author of The Space Between Time, an award finalist in the “Fiction: Fantasy” category of the 2017 Best Book Awards.
Have you ever experienced life shattering events? Yeah, after the last few years, most of us have. In The Space Between Time, Jenna Holden gets slammed by her fiancé walking out, her mother’s untimely death, and losing her job all in one week. But she receives unexpected help when she finds her three-times great-grandmother’s journals and begins the adventure of a lifetime.
The Space Between Time is available in all ebook formats at Smashwords and for Kindle at Amazon, or you can find the ebook at iBooks or Barnes and Noble. If you prefer a physical copy, you can find a print-on-demand version at Amazon. Stay tuned for news when the audiobook version is published.
Lucinda is also the host of Story-Power a podcast where she and her guests discuss their creative endeavors, and/or the stories that have changed their lives. It’s available here on Sage Woman Chronicles and on Apple, Google, and Spotify podcast apps. Please rate and leave a review. It helps people find me
I’m so passionate about stories that I created the Story-Power podcast and Patreon communities so I’d have an excuse to talk story with other story lovers. If you’re passionate about stories too, and want to talk about what you’ve learned from your favorites, come join me at patreon.com/StoryPower.
Saving the World One Story at a Time
The world is in such chaos right now that sometimes we need to get a perspective on what’s happening. I designed this course on Ûdemy for people who are looking for a way to get a better understanding about what we’re going through, and what it means to be a human being. Stories are one great way to walk in the shoes of the characters, connect with them emotionally for a short time but not have to live there. Not to mention it’s a pleasant way to learn. If that sounds like something you’d be interested in, I hope to see you in class.
If you are a podcaster, or have a message or fantastic product you want to share with the world, I encourage you to check out PodMatch. Use the affiliate link and tell them, Lucinda sent you. Then contact me so we can set up a Story-Power chat.