Decision Making: Rational or Emotional?

Posted on March 8, 2010 in Society

Md Khasimul Asif:

Why does the foolish heart win over the smart brain?

A dilemma every man has is whether to follow the head or the heart. Critical decisions require the efficient functioning of the grey cells; not emotions. Many contemporary examples show us the way our people get instigated, the reason being that we give more importance to emotions and feelings over skeptical and rational thinking.

If Raj Thackery and K.Chandrashekhar Rao could (allegedly) move the masses into wrong thinking and create a havoc in the country, I would blame the human emotional instinct which domineered its mind. The point is not to criticise their school of thought because every man has a unique style of thinking, but when he is able to convince a mob, it means he has hit the bull’s eye. Why did students commit suicide for the cause of Telangana? Why did people burn buses and pelt stones at politicians?

The hardcore feeling in the people was beyond their control and this was the way they revolted. The earlier example was similar. Human feelings and actions are sometimes baseless. To keep oneself on the righteous path, man developed the concept of religion and quoted certain guidelines to follow which are ideal means to lead a life. However over time our people got so involved in it that they started amending the so called constitution of their religion, bringing baseless theories into it and making man’s life a mess! I didn’t intend to say that man was so jobless to do such things but he got carried away by the then existing feelings and devised some new senseless (that is when the human upper storey should be vigilant but unfortunately it wasn’t) rules making religion tough to practice and instigating people like me to analyse them and write long articles if this genre.

Our brain tells us that we are a proper blend of flesh and blood but the heart brings in the concepts of spirit, conscience and many other aspects. If these are prevailing among the masses its only because man started listening to his heart before mind. The example of Adam and Eve suits this discussion. Note that brain has to be given importance over heart only when it has to be given. Ability to find those situations is also something one should develop. Getting practical is sensible not in all situations.

Heart tells us to live passionately. The feelings of determination, will power, perseverance, etc. all come under its domain. Of course its your ability of coordinating all these feelings and working in harmony with mind that makes you successful. Its not SILLY to follow the heart but its the brain that calculates the price you may have to pay for your actions. When one does not let either of them function properly in these situations of decision making, we see people either curbing their feelings by not following their heart or making a blunder because they did not heed to their mind which already cautioned them.

This simple phenomenon makes every human being unique and when the balance of the two organs is disturbed we get to see people trying to seek dominant places in the newspaper headlines, committing disturbing acts and atrocities in the society. That is (probably) how our dear criminals are born

Ultimately it boils down to what Howard Martin said-

“Creating a joint venture between head and heart puts a power pack behind your goals. Getting your head in sync with your heart and harnessing the power of coherence gives you the energy efficiency you need to achieve changes that haven’t been possible before. The head can notice what things need to change, but the heart provides the power and direction to actually bring about the changes….”

The writer is a correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz and also a student at BITS Pilani.