I myself have spent a great deal of time over the last five years practising, refining and building my own levels of emotional intelligence and it has really made me a much kinder, more patient, more accepting and generally better person that I used to be. When I think back to the way that used to behave and the things that I used to say, I practically flush with embarrassment! The way that I chose to present myself to others and how little tolerance I had for, not only my own emotions, but also the emotional needs of others, was actually quite disgusting and unacceptable.
Unfortunately, I was not taught to be tolerant, kind or aware of my own emotions or the emotions of others when I was younger and as a consequence I turned out to be a bit of a judgemental asshole in my teens and early adult years. It actually took me many years of deprogramming and reprogramming to eventually arrive at where I am now. And now, I value emotional intelligence, kindness and patience above everything else, but I had to work hard to understand that and I wonder every day who I may have become if only I had learned these things a lot earlier.
As a society in general, we teach children from a very early age to value intellectual intelligence (book smarts) and physical intelligence (sporting prowess) over spiritual intelligence and emotional intelligence. Even though we all know that we need all four intelligences to live a balanced and joyful lifestyle, we just don't really spend a lot of time fostering children with their ability to be spiritually or emotionally intelligent. And why do we do this?
Honestly, I think that it is because a lot of adults themselves are not very spiritually or emotionally intelligent, and you can't teach what you don't know. We also as a society don't generally see those attributes of spiritualism and emotional awareness to be as valuable as being book smart or physically put together, so we tend to feel comfortable with not teaching children these skills directly. However, I do see some fundamental problems with this thinking, and I also see a lot of children struggling to find meaning and strong relationships in their over stimulated and over-informed worlds.
Children today have abundant and never ending access to information thanks to devices, social media and high speed Wi-Fi. Which is great, but they also have, as a consequence of this and all the COVID-19 lockdowns and shut ins; less face to face interactional ability, less understanding of feelings, thoughts, and appropriate emotional responses within themselves and others, less connection to community and less of a sense of belonging to something bigger than themselves. In short, kids today are becoming more confused, jaded and unaware of how they present in the world than ever before. And in my opinion it is the responsibility of all parents, caregivers, educators and support people to up their game around educating young people about their emotional intelligence and emotional wellbeing.
There are five main areas that I have identified as areas of great need in children today and I believe that we all need to shift our attention and teachings towards these key points if we want to improve emotional intelligences.
Self Awareness: The ability to recognise and understand your moods, emotions and drives, as well as their affect on others. Hallmarks - Self confidence, realistic self assessment ability and a self depreciating sense of humour.
Self Regulation: The ability to control or redirect disruptive impulses and moods. The propensity to suspend judgement - to think before acting. Hallmarks - Trustworthiness and integrity. Comfort in ambiguity and openness to change.
Motivation: A passion to do things for reasons that go beyond reward or status. A propensity to pursue goals with energy and persistence. Hallmarks - Strong drive to achieve. Optimism in the face of adversity. Organizational commitment.
Empathy: The ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people. An ability to treat people according to their emotional reactions. Hallmarks - Expertise in building and retaining friendships. Cross cultural sensitivity. Calmness in the face of adversity/ discomfort.
Social Skills: Proficiency in creating and maintaining relationships with peers and adults. An ability to find common ground and build rapport. Hallmarks - Acceptance of change and differences. Understanding of the nuances of friendships and the 'give and take' dynamics of strong relationships.
However, as I said earlier, you can't teach what you don't know. So I suppose as adults and stewards for future generations, we must first look at ourselves and address what types of emotional strengths we are delivering and depicting at the front line of society ourselves.
Are we being emotionally intelligent?
Do we meet the key 'emotional intelligence' criteria listed above?
Are we helping or hindering our youths to become the best version of themselves?
These are questions that we need to be willing to ask ourselves and address if we are to set a respectable standard. The days of "don't do as I do, do as I say" aren't going to cut it for our highly informed young people, they demand and expect better than that, and why shouldn't they? And in response to that, we adults now need to lead by exceptional example, which means that each and every one of us has a responsivity to improve our own emotional intelligence so that we can teach, empower and educate others.
So please, do yourself a favour and start working on your own emotional intelligence now, you are going to need it in days to come, trust me!
Release Date: 2021
Running Time: 155 mins
Easily the most anticipated movie of 2021, Dune: Part One was originally scheduled for release in 2020 but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic which only served to heighten the hype around this blockbuster science fiction film. The third attempt at an adaptation of Frank Herbert's epic novel, Denis Villeneuve's Dune: Part One sports a massive ensemble cast and some unforgettably spectacular visuals whilst also managing to deliver something that could best be described as ambitious and seriously intriguing.
Paul Atreides has valuable magical abilities that he inherited from his mother, but he is also the heir to a noble family bloodline. The House Atreides has been tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is "spice," a magical substance with many uses that is also capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the universe, spice is sought after and killed for, making Paul's destiny treacherous and deeply important.
Set in the distant future where inhabitants can access interstellar travel, this is an exciting and emotionally charged hero's journey tale. There is a lot going here, both visually and audibly. Quite beautiful to behold, Dune looks incredible in every way and the actors are all perfectly cast here, especially Timothee Chalamet who just shines as Paul Atreides. What this movie does do is set up a really strong and sound foundation for future Dune movie efforts to ride upon, and for that reason it feels a little slow at times, but I honestly believe that the pay off is yet to come here.
What I did see, I liked a lot. What I heard, I also really liked a lot because Dune's soundtrack is definitely Oscar worthy. Bottom line is that I definitely want to see more of this, so well done Villeneuve, you now have my full attention.
FINAL SAY: Dreams make good stories, but everything important happens when you're awake.
4 Chilli Peppers