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Our Politics Page 27 of  51

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  • THE HOE AND THE HAMMER


  • As we should never use a hammer where a hoe is needed, we also should never use a hoe where a hammer is needed. This is because tools were developed for certain tasks; therefore, no tool is adequate for every task. As obvious as this is, we often use mental tools for purposes for which they were never developed.


  • In mankindís long evolution, the emotional tools would have evolved first, as they provided the tools most necessary for mere survival. The fight or flight emotions are examples as are the emotions that cause us to seek sex, comfort, food, water, etc. These tools are still with us today. Later in mankindís development, the ability to reason and solve problems developed to more adequately solve the problems that our emotions couldnít. The tool of reason was developed to an extent that it has enabled mankind to provide for all of its physical needs, and permitted the vast increase of our populations, and their standards of life.


  • One of the perils to mankindís future is that it tends to use emotional tools to solve complex problems instead of reason. By using the primitive tool of emotion to solve our complex problems of today, we have often made problems considerably worse than before. This is like using a hoe to hammer nails, thus perhaps damaging both the hoe and the nail, plus damaging whatever the nail was going into.


  • How much better the world would be if we used the tools for which they were developed. In a reverse of the example above, sometimes we use rationality where emotion is most conducive to solving problems. During sex, we arenít benefited by trying to understand what causes us to respond the way we do. In child rearing, love is much more useful than rationality for supplying the emotional needs of the child.


  • Unfortunately, most individuals have permitted their emotions, arising from our bodily and emotional needs, to become our primary tool for solving complex problems, thus causing us to suffer from: obesity, sex addiction, lust for power, jealousy, envy, pride, fear and hatred of those that are different, drug and alcohol addiction, etc. Rationally we know better, but our emotions demand satisfactions and receive them because our rationality has become a servant to our emotions.


  • As long as emotions dominate our way of responding to complex problems, little hope should be given for the future of either individuals or nations. Individuals will continue habits that worsen their own lives and the lives of their loved ones. Nations will continue to follow policies that worsen the lives of their own citizens as well as those of other nations. Also, as long as individuals attempt to use reason for providing the emotional needs for themselves and others, lives will suffer a deficiency of lifeís emotional satisfactions.


  • We often find that each tool can be used to the benefit of the other, for instance: once we begin to know ourselves, we can use reason to anticipate long-term goals that will be expected to be emotionally satisfying at that distant time. Along the way, solving lifeís impediments with reason sometimes fails. It is at these times that we need to apply the emotions of conviction and persistence. Rational long-term goals, sought with conviction and persistence, proves successful in almost all cases.


  • As clearly as we can see that a choice should be made between the hoe and the hammer, based on the task to be done, it is also just as clear the we should use reason for solving complex problems and emotions for supplying for the emotional needs of oneself and others, in order to fulfill our true potential as humans.


  • WALT HASKINS


Comments - Our Politics
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