TED Conversations

Rohit Daniel

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We should include a subject on human relationships and emotions, probably called Human Science, in the core curriculum of our schools.

All of the world's problems stem from our failure to understand our emotions and feelings, and also our failure to understand the nuances of human relationships. If we can only teach our children how to make and maintain meaningful relationships, most of our problems would disappear to a large extent.

Agreed that there will still be exceptional cases where, in spite of the right emotional nurture, certain individuals will still make the wrong choices in life, but we can't ignore the huge difference in the life of millions! Just image, fewer divorces, fewer failures in love, fewer broken hearts, and certainly lesser crime!

We are teaching our children to be better doctors, engineers and other professions, but unfortunately we are missing out the main aspect of their upbringing: Being Human! Perhaps there was a time when we did not need to have to teach our children to be human, but seeing how capitalism has effectively dehumanized us, I strong believe it's time we start teaching our children how to be human and humane once again.

Your views on the subject will be truly insightful for me and also everyone on TED.


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  • Sep 21 2013: This in some ways has been the complaint of post modernism. In this "ism" one can invent and reinvent themselves over and over but the difficulty with this is that as we recreate we lose the ability to be in touch with who we really are. This self awareness is already hard enough without adding more layers of personnae. Even what we do for a living can become another layer covering up who we are.
    Certainly many males are taught that emotions are not required. Many men have only 4 emotions, happy, hungry, angry and horny. Women can have 12 words for just angry and each one means a specific thing. But many women are passive with their emotions so that in relationships you now have the difficult presence of indirect emotional conveyance of females versus avoidance of emotions by males. This is obviously a generalization but I believe it still has merit.
    I also believe that we need to honor our emotions as a form of intelligence just as much as we need to honor our thinking. We need our heart to temper our thinking just as much as we need our thinking to temper our heart. This I believe is where we find wisdom.
    I think we all could benefit by not only learning about the value of emotions and what it takes to be in a good relationship but also what it means for us to be a valuable partner. Studies have shown that couples who attend pre-marital counseling do better than couples who do not. Although this could be due to the fact that they are already possibly more committed, I think it is still valid to recognize the value of a good education.
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      Sep 22 2013: Thank you for your valuable contribution Mark. What do you have to say about our diminishing social life? Today, we spend more time on facebook and other social networking sites than we actually do in spending time with the people who are physically around us, like say our neighbors. How does that affect our emotional intelligence? And is the current trend actually a result of our distorted perceptions of human relationships?
      • Sep 23 2013: Pain often drives us into isolation. What better place of isolation than in front of a computer screen creating your super ego or avatar on the computer. Rejection and abandonment seem to be huge "pains" in the world today. Facebook and chat rooms provide what seems like a connection but are really an isolated version of "myself" that often is not accurate let alone true. To continue this endeavor is to continue to feel rejected and abandoned because no matter how much response we get, people are still only responding to something untrue. The conversation is empty calories. I have a cartoon in my office of a young girl at her desk on Facebook while a toy trunk of toys stare on missing the girl who once creatively played with them. It is sad because when you think about it, we are creating "connection" as an avatar unto itself. Even connecting isn't real anymore. I can speak to 100 people today, none of which were face to face.
        Our emotional intelligence will be consumed and over run by feelings of isolation, abandonment, rejection, frustration etc. etc. This emotional intelligence will only become intelligent when we realize what it is calling us to do is reach out and physically touch someone.
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          Sep 24 2013: This is exactly what I'm trying to get at. We need to teach our children to be human again. We are living in a virtual world that is increasingly getting isolationist and inhuman at the same time. Thank you for your valuable insights Mark. Do you have any practical suggestions to make regarding the idea I have shared?

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