Mar 042014
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I don’t trust emotions.

I keep them on a short leash, ignore their outbursts and refuse to acknowledge their urgings, In spite of my efforts however they continue to disrupt my life. I call their influence evil because I can’t discern their intent or manage their force. They pay no attention at all to reason and logic.

I know that I’m supposed to go all weepy and sentimental about emotions. After all, love makes the world go round but I can’t- I resist with every fiber of my being. I won’t let them get the upper hand. Yet, still they root around deep in my being and mess up my well-ordered life. A pox on emotions!

Emotion is driving the bus.

Emotion is driving the bus.

Looking back, I can’t find any point in my long life where emotion did me any good. Letting emotion lead has always made things worse, not better. It’s the curse of being human. Clear thinking and logic are invariably subverted by muddle-headed, headstrong and erasable emotion. Primal needs trump logic every day and I say enough. Lizard brain, be gone.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, I feel a bit better. Somehow, it seems that God messed up creating mankind. Why give us a clear and logical mind that can analyze, parse and plan and then undermine it with an emotion-driven engine that steers it’s own course. Maybe God, in his infinite wisdom, knows what he is doing but it is hard to find any justification. From my perspective, on the front line, it looks like a curse-not a blessing.

Let’s take an example. Say I am running late. I misjudged the time and now show up 15 minutes for an appointment. My reasonable, analytical mind says ‘No problem.” It reasons that I’ll still have time to take care of business. If I don’t get my money’s worth, it’s my fault. I am the only one who can lose. I haven’t inconvenienced anyone because I will pay full freight for the time. And, to top it all off, I’ll apologize for being late. That should take care of the problem, right? We can move on to the important stuff.


Emotion has to rear it’s ugly head and tear me apart with guilt, remorse and self-doubt for no good reason. Instead of accepting the reasonable perspective of ‘ no harm- no foul’ and moving on I dissolve in a puddle of weepy mush, wondering how I can ever hold my head up in public again after exposing myself as an irresponsible, disrespectful and indolent lout. Not only am I disgusted with myself for my lapsed responsibility, I compound that by being angry that I can’t control the emotional flagellation and put my life back on course. Without the emotion, life would go on; I’d analyze, correct course and relaunch: efficient and effective. Instead, emotion turns me into a self-flagellating nut job, paralyzed and ineffective until logic can again take control. If this is being created in the image of God, then I pass. I don’t want the stress.

I’ve done my best over the years to beat emotion down. I’ve sharpened those intellectual skills and honed my judgment but emotion won’t go down easily. It still insists on micro-managing my life creating problems where they don’t need to be. Who needs them? Not that what I think in my logical, reasonable mind matters. Emotion is driving my bus and right now it appears to be going over the cliff.

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Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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