Generally speaking, females are considered to be more emotional, while males tend to face much of life with a rational detachment. That’s not to say that men are unfeeling, only that the well of their emotions may be deeper and that tasting of its water requires greater reach.
In children the emotional differences between male and female are less noticeable. Little boys are apt to cry just as easily as little girls, and for both sexes, a sense of life is wrought with emotions. I recall just recently the tears of disappointment that welled in my second grader’s eyes when she discovered that four minus three wasn’t seven. How sweet is the tender heart.
But such rendering is fitting only for a young child, and maturity signifies a growing and healthy level of emotional checks and balances. Growing up means having the ability to accept that four minus three doesn’t equal seven.
At times I find myself to be what I consider too unemotional. I don’t enjoy that state of mind. Nor do I like the feeling of being emotionally bound and teary-eyed. There’s an important balance that makes me feel complete, a level of control that allows me to see things in the light of rationality but also through the lens of a deeper understanding and attachment.
As a parent, I find that I often call on the strength of rationality, but never do I want to lose sight of the love and the sympathy for my children and their problems. And children, I think, are looking to the adult for the fortitude that they themselves have not yet developed. They want love, sympathy and composure all rolled into one. They want to know that you understand their problems, but they also want to know that everything is going to be okay. Whereas sympathy is the emotional response, composure is the rational one.
Day 1 Guide
This first day of February, the month of love, is a great time to consider your emotions. Think today about the balance of your emotional and rational faculties. For some, the well of emotions may seem to be overflowing, while for others, empty.
I know that it’s easy in some settings, business for example, to overlook the need for the emotional mind. But businesses are made up of individuals, who each have the need to feel purpose and meaning in life. Consider today, the balance of mind (emotional/rational) in all of your roles – as employer, co-worker, parent, and friend.
© 2005, Levi Hill