Emotional Intelligence is the quality that enables us to confront with
patience, insight and imagination, the many problems that we face
in our affective relationship with ourselves and with other people.
The term emotional intelligence may sound odd.
We’re used to referring to intelligence just as a general quality,
without unpicking a particular variety a person might possess –
and therefore we do not tend to highlight the value of a distinctive sort of intelligence
which currently does not enjoy the prestige it should.
Every sort of intelligence signals an ability
to navigate well around a particular set of challenges:
不管是数学领域 还是语言 技术 商业等领域……
mathematical, linguistic, technical, commercial…
When we say that someone is clever,
but add that they have made a mess of their personal lives;
or that they have acquired a fortune,
but are restless and sad;
或者他们手握重权 却心胸狭窄 寡然无趣
or that they are powerful, but intolerant and unimaginative,
we are pointing to a deficit in what deserves to be called
In social life, we can feel the presence of Emotional Intelligence
in a sensitivity to the moods of others,
and in a readiness to grasp the surprising things
that may be going on for other people beneath the surface.
Emotional Intelligence recognises a role for interpretation, and knows that,
a fiery outburst might be a disguised plea for help;
or that a long political rant may be provoked by hunger;
or that concealed within a forceful jolliness
may be a sorrow that has been sentimentally disavowed.
In relation to ourselves,
Emotional Intelligence shows up in a scepticism around our emotions,
特别是爱情 欲望 愤怒
especially those of love, desire, anger,
嫉妒 焦虑 职业抱负等情感
envy, anxiety and professional ambition.
The Emotionally Intelligent refuse to just trust their first impulses,
or the inherent wisdom of their feelings.
They know that hatred may mask love,
that anger may be a cover for sadness,
and that we are prone to huge and costly inaccuracies
around whom we desire and what we really want.
Emotional Intelligence is also what distinguishes those who are crushed by failure
from those who know how to greet the troubles of existence
with a melancholy and at points darkly humorous resilience.
The Emotionally Intelligent appreciate the role of well-handled pessimism
within the overall economy of a good life.
Emotional Intelligence isn’t an inborn talent.
It’s always the result of education,
specifically education in
how to interpret ourselves,
in where our emotions arise from,
in how our childhoods influence us,
and how we might best navigate our fears and wishes.
In the ideal society, it would be routine
to be taught Emotional Intelligence from the youngest age,
before we’ve had the opportunity to make too many mistakes.
It is because we have – until now – not taken
Emotional Education seriously enough,
that our species has grown ever more technically adept
while retaining the level of wisdom of our earliest days,
with catastrophic results.
We are now evolved monkeys with nuclear weapons.
It appears that the fate of civilisation depends on
our capacity to master the mechanisms of Emotional Education
before it is too late.
Emotional Education means something far beyond just normal education
as we have conceived of it to date.
Though it should ideally include courses in every year of school or college,
Emotional Education is more than something
that should take place in classrooms,
at the hands of teachers,
and come to a halt around the age of twenty-one.
The central vehicle for the transfer of Emotional Intelligence is culture,
from its highest to its most popular level.
Culture is the field that can ritualise,
and consistently promote the absorption of emotional intelligence.
The lessons might be embedded in a tragedy,
电视剧中 流行歌曲中 小说中
or a TV series, a pop song or a novel,
a work of architecture or a YouTube film.
We can envisage the entire apparatus of culture as a subtle mechanism
designed to point us towards greater emotional intelligence.
We will never progress as a species,
and will indeed grow into ever greater technologically-armed menaces to ourselves,
until we have accepted the challenges and opportunities
of properly educating ourselves in Emotional Intelligence.
Our Technical Intelligence is great of course.
It’s led us to tame nature and conquer this planet.
But a wiser, saner future for the human race must depend on a capacity to master
and then seductively teach one another the rudiments of Emotional Intelligence –
while there is still time.
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