The world around us is broken. It always has been. But, perhaps never more than now, are we able to see just how broken it is.
I know, a lot of terrible things have happened throughout human history. But, as tragic as they were, most of them were done in the name of some kind of belief. While I will never defend those who killed and murdered people because they believe in the wrong things, there was a value they were defending/propagating – as wrong as it may have been.
Today, things are different. Things are much different.
What exactly has changed? We started thinking with our emotions. More precisely, we started making decisions on our feelings.
Do emotions and feelings have their place? Absolutely. There are “things” that we perceive that can’t be defined with logic, truth or values, but that doesn’t make them invalid.
Feelings and emotion have a purpose. But, they’ve become bloated. The purpose they are intended to serve is much smaller than the role we’ve given them.
I think of it like this: In our house we have a wood stove. As the weather gets colder, we use the stove to heat our house, so we build a fire.
We wad up some newspaper, chop up some kindling and get the box of matches. We strike a match to ignite the newspaper, which burns hot enough to ignite the kindling which then burns hot enough and strong enough to ignite the larger piece of wood.
We would never try to heat our house with only matches and newspaper. They burn hot but are horribly inefficient. If we were to try to heat with them, we would have to be constantly feeding the fire. There is no substance to newspaper. They burn hot and fast. But, when we put larger pieces of wood on the fire, they will burn for hours.
Thinking with our emotions and feelings is like relying on matches and newspaper for heat. Emotions and feelings serve a purpose. They get our fire going. But they aren’t enough to sustain us. We need the long lasting effect of values.
Where we’ve gotten off track is we start with feelings. We start with emotion.
We used to begin with values. We used the values we had been taught as children to get us going in the right direction.
Our values were like a scale or teeter totter. Based on our values we would get the scale to go in the right direction. They didn’t always get us all the way there, sometimes we would have to use our perception or “gut” to take us the rest of the way. But we could act in a fair amount of confidence because we trusted what got us to that point.
Those days are gone.
But we desperately need to get them back!!!
For too many, every choice…every action and reaction…every life decision…every job decision…every relationship…every crisis and every response to a crisis is all determined by emotions.
We’re running on matches and newspaper. We’ve allowed ourselves to become ruled by the thing that was only intended to get us going. Instead of serving the purpose of getting us going in the right direction, our emotions and feelings have become the fuel of our lives.
My purpose for Farm Family Values is…
I have been working on a list of what I think are some of the most important values that are missing from our world today. These are the logs we should be putting on the fire. I won’t be proposing a life without emotion. Instead, I will be proposing balance. Letting emotions fulfill the role they were created to play.
What do you say? Are you with me?
What values do you think we desperately need today?