Principle: The collectivity of moral or ethical standards or judgments.
Emotion: A mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes; a feeling.
These two words describe how people react to situations or circumstances that confront them at every moment of their waking time. I’m my own study in this subject. Up until I collapsed from letting emotional response be the way I answered to situations in my life I could not control what would transpire in my life.
My blood pressure would skyrocket. My head would spin from the possibilities of what could happen. Anxiety ruled my every move. I started having anxiety attacks. Then at the age of 56 I crashed. Finally at the age of 58 I got help from a psychologist and went on medication and stayed on it for years until I found I was totally emotionless.
From that view of the world where nothing touched me emotionally I learned principles that were played out gave results that were reasonable and with wisdom I learned to depend on making logical decisions based on those principles. I could depend on doing so without an emotional response.
Then came a day about a year ago I decided to discontinue the medication because I longed to be able to feel emotions. I especially wanted to cry. Sounds crazy I suppose, but I did. I wanted the things of the world to touch me again.
From all this I could expand to a larger picture of this journey, but suffice to say I’ve found the balance of emotions and principles. I largely depend on principles to make my decisions in most all circumstances I encounter. In the past some of the circumstances I encounter now would have devastated me back then. Emotional responses have to take a back seat. I reserve emotions to help me respond to people’s needs or losses.
Emotional response enhances my responses through principles that gives me strong reason to ensure they have their situation alevieviated. This is demonstrated to me when I go to disasters as a Chaplain. The tornados that ravaged Kentucky and the surrounding states in December proved to me I’m on the right track. I cried over these people and their losses. But my response in principle was girded thusly to see that they had supplies and the tools needed to cling to normalcy.
My heart cannot express the depth of what I write in this post. It’s not really principle vs emotion so much as the balance of the two to make the soul and spirit of man mature more as the days go forward.
Don’t let your emotions rule you. Likewise, don’t let stone-cold principles give you the final answer. Learn to balance the two together.