Zack Vayda and his Emotions: Part 2
After rereading my last blog, I realized that there were still several holes that I didn't attend to. This is too important of a topic to have holes left over, so I'm going to break Emotional Intelligence down into three categories: Proving and qualifying it, how to build and improve it, and the benefits one will see in their life because of it. This blog will focus on proving and qualifying Emotional Intelligence.
Going into this, I do think it's important to remember that I have just recently begun to understand this topic in its most fundamental form. I am a novice in this subject on my best day, so please take what I say with a grain of salt, knowing I am only speaking from my very limited understanding of it. Also feel free to correct me or add to what I say in the comments.
In this day and age, we have every single bit of information literally at our fingertips. At any time, we can pull out our phone and have access to any information we desire. Because of this, Informational Intelligence is both easily quantifiable and easily attained. Most people may not even recognize that as they learn new information, they are working towards Informational Intelligence. What can't be looked up quite as easily, though, is Emotional Intelligence. This is because it's not nearly as quantifiable. That doesn't mean it's any less important though. If anything, it proves just how important Emotional Intelligence is.
The importance of Emotional Intelligence is best explained with an example of how it looks in recent events. On February 14th of this year, 17 people were killed in a school shooting. This is not a difficult concept to grasp from an Informational point of view. 17 is a medium sized number. 17 is more than 13 (the number of people killed at Columbine) and 17 is less than 26 (the number of lives taken at Sandy Hook). The number 17 is an easy number to understand and to quantify in ones mind. That's how many lives were taken on February 14th, and that's that. From this point of view, an Informationally Intelligent person can completely understand this statistic, correct?
Now let's look at that same statistic from an Emotionally Intelligent point of view. 17 is broken down into 17 "1's", and each "1" is a human life. Each "1" was related to other people. Each "1" was planning on having their lunch that day, each "1" had a class they were looking forward to and a class they weren't, each "1" had friends at school, people they enjoyed being around, and each "1" was loved and cared about deeply by many others. Now the number 17 takes on an entirely new meaning. It's no longer just a number, it's also alive and breathing. There's an entirely new purpose to the number that wasn't there before. Now do we think the Informationally Intelligent person completely understood the number?
Of course not.
Someone could read this and say the Informational lens and the Emotional lens are just two separate, equal ways to interpret that statistic. It's up to each individual to decide how to understand the statistic, and no particular way is more correct or incorrect than any other. My response to that is to ask about the intention of the person who wrote that statistic the first time. Do you think the first person to write this statistic was simply sharing a number for the sake of information, or is it more likely the person wrote this statistic intending for people to understand each of those 17 are humans, and to understand what a terrible event this was? In this sense, the accurate, true way to interpret this statistic is through Emotional Intelligence.
One important thing to note, though, is that seeing that statistic through the lens of Emotion in no way negates the lens of Information. Quite the opposite; seeing something through the lens of Emotion elevates its Informational meaning.
Hopefully this both proves the existence of Emotional Intelligence and outlines just how important it is. The next blog will prove that Emotional Intelligence can be attained very similarly to how we attain Informational Intelligence, and will give examples of ways we can work at mastering Emotional Intelligence.