By: Omawale Luthuli-Allen
If you want to be king of your own kingdom, seek EQ, not IQ.
Associated Press Reported that a man was killed in Liberty County, Texas in a dispute over a neighbor’s dog roaming loose and crossing into his yard. This act of a dog crossing a manmade boundary was too hard. A gunshot wound to the stomach of the owner of the dog sent another brother to the morgue. Now, two families are crying crocodile tears due to the theft of breaths and years.
Is this how a dispute is supposed to end? Emotional Intelligence is about mediating disputes, especially small disputes. Emotional intelligence is about skillfully but desperately finding a way to come down the hostility ladder, lowering the temperature, deescalating, peacefully meeting in the middle. Civilization is about self-actualized citizens finding a non-violent way to go forward and live.
In America, are we losing our way?
A newspaper reported that neighbors were having a dispute over barbeque smoke that the wind currents carried into their personal space.
An argument ensues and the great adversary slips into the heart. Anger escalates to madness; madness ramps up to rage. The adversary whispers that since you have a fire stick, exercise your prerogative to honor your pride. Thus, man child Cain wiped his brother Abel off the face of the earth.
Countries are neighbors, all are citizens of one planet circling one sun of reality. Putin is a modern-day expression of Cain defying mandates from the Beatitudes.
Yes, Cain has lost his way. Last week, Cain boarded a Brooklyn bound subway train in the Big Apple and shot nineteen innocent people, including defenseless women and children. Social workers will reveal that the assailant had a bad childhood and family history full of adverse events. The court prosecution record will show a long rap sheet and feet that were swift to shed innocent blood. He was unwanted as a child but is now wanted in 50 states.
The wisdom of evolution has created mankind as primates, high primates that have evolved from a carnivorous ape, capable of infinite goodness and infinite cruelty. Thinking man, homo sapiens is at his/her best when educated by a cultivator. Thinking man has the remnants of a reptilian brain that is prone to emotional and destructive acting out.
A toolbox of many skills is needed to calm the beast, reptile that is in all of us. Having the toolbox informs mankind that stressors will always be with us. The challenge is to handle the stressors skillfully and peacefully.
Major league baseball just celebrated the legacy of 42, the inimitable Jackie Robinson. Jackie was dogged and taunted daily but he suppressed the need to slap his tormentors. His wife, Ray didn’t like the Jesus responses, but she adapted.
The sage, prophet, Dr. MLK asked 42 to join the fight for civil rights and face down the racists. Jackie told Dr. MLK, “I will raise money and do public relations for this noble cause, but I don’t have the internal resources or resolve to accept any more abuse.” The sage knows his limits and often avoids situations that result in humiliation.
Will needs skills. Pepper needs skills. Supreme Court Justice Ketanji showed her skills when she refused to tell midget Cruz, kiss my grits.
The country must invest in depositing powerful peacemaker skills into each citizens toolbox. Our brain is the biggest of all the primates, but we have anger for a reason, to let us know when we are hurt and save us from danger.
Let’s act before it is too late. Truly, understanding is hard but to act is easy. Let us review our EQ toolbox. EQ, bring us to a sane world and personal sanity.