If you really get down to it, Star Trek is a show about people. Sure it’s about a lot of other stuff too- but when you strip all the Sci-Fi away you are left with a show in which people encounter other (humanoid) people. These humanoid races have their own ways of life which impart lessons upon the crew and the show’s audience. One such prominent race in the Star Trek universe are the Vulcans. Arguably the most important lesson the Vulcans teach us is about Emotional Intelligence.
Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions. So in other words it is using Logic over emotion to govern the way one acts (About.com). For those who are new to the Star Trek world, this is what the Vulcans are all about. Unfortunately for us humans we do not always have such control over our emotions. But we can certainly look to our Vulcans friends for some ways to get a handle on our own emotions.
On Friday, our very own Justine gave a talk about Emotional Intelligence. In her presentation she pointed out that there is often a direct correlation between our past and the way we deal with emotions today. The way we were raised, or how we were treated in school often plays a role in how we deal with our emotions. It is important to reflect upon our life experiences so we can understand how they relate to our emotional responses. By understanding our emotions better we can gain control over them. This is a key component to Emotional Intelligence and can bring us that much closer to Vulcanism.
It is important to note that emotions are not a negative thing. They do offer us benefits. According to About.com, “Emotions help prioritize what we pay attention and react to; we respond emotionally to things that garner our attention”. We should aim to critically engage with the way we feel so we can better control how we react to any situation that comes our way. It is very easy to see the benefits of keeping one’s emotions at bay- from a stressful boardroom meeting to a heated argument with your partner, by applying Emotional Intelligence we can avoid arguments and even control situations so that the outcome works in our favor. Emotional Intelligence is something we should work towards. It does take practise- as Justine pointed out in her presentation, “[Emotional Intelligence] is an ongoing journey-Vulcanism ain’t easy, yo”.
“Logic is the beginning of wisdom not the the end”