If you’ve read some of my prior posts you’ve probably realized that I can be
freakishly kind of emotional. Everyone is. However, in society, expressions of emotion are often interpreted as indications of weakness or immaturity. There is some truth to this. People who continuously drown themselves in dark and negative thoughts or become angry and irritated over insignificant matters may need to reevaluate their mindsets, or just, as my English teacher said, “quit whining” (although she used the verb form of a curse word meaning female dog, but, I won’t write that here).
But expressing emotions shouldn’t solely be seen as a shortcoming. On the surface level, there are several reasons as to why releasing emotions is important. Getting out all of your anger or sadness via talking or screaming or
writing about your personal life on your blog can be cathartic and keep you from going insane. Emphasizing your emotions in a certain way can allow you to acquire emotional intelligence – if you’re able to define and discern your emotions, you may be able to do so with others and learn how to manage emotions more positively in general. There is a broader and bigger reason as to why I’m a fan of freely feeling all sorts of emotions though, and I attained this reason through reading The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.
A few weeks ago, one of my friends was upset. She was red-faced and her body language led me to believe that something was not quite right in her life. After inquiring what was wrong, she told me that it was her AP Chem grade and her difficulty comprehending the class’s material. Then – and this is the intriguing part – she told me that she didn’t want to be angry over this, because angry people only grow bitter and vengeful over time. She told me that lately, she had been feeling a lot of anger, and she didn’t want that to continue.
Now, I see what she meant. Anger is most likely my least favorite emotion, as it can cause destructive decisions due to a lack of logical thought. But the thing is, in this case, her anger was necessary. Because it showed that she cared.
There are things in life that people waste time over. High school drama, first world problems, you name it – but there are other things that people need to get emotional about – to display sadness or outrage over. Because if you’re crying, or if you’re so angry you just want to slap someone across the face, it displays how much you care about whatever you’re so emotional about. It displays that you haven’t given up.
I’d rather cry and feel anger over something as seriously wrong as child abuse or the narrow-mindedness of those who oppose gay marriage than just sit down and accept such nonsense. I’d rather be labeled an emotional freak and fight for what I care about instead of being thought of as normal and not caring about anything. I’d rather be passionate and productive over stoic and silent.
In The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck states that Manself “will suffer and die for a concept, for this one quality is the foundation of Manself, and this one quality is man, distinctive in the universe.” As human beings, we should be willing to throw ourselves and our feelings into the fire in order to create the change we want to see in the world. He also states that “having stepped forward, [Manself] may slip back, but only half a step, and never the full step back.” This elucidates that these expressions of emotion are not just random outbursts, rather, that they are what lets us fall back for a bit but strive to succeed regardless.
In the words of Steinbeck, we should “fear the time when the bombs stop falling while the bombers live – for every bomb is proof that the spirit has not died.” We should only worry when no tears fall and no punches are thrown, because then, no one would really care about anything at all. So what would happen as a result? Absolutely nothing, and no progress would be made – which is why we should never be scared to let loose our emotions. It is why we, when it is called for, should all just cry and get angry.
Thoughts? It’s a little late and I have a myriad of homework to do as always, but I wanted to write this post sooner than later – I don’t think it came across as coherently as I had hoped, but, I’m still interested in hearing others’ opinions. If anyone is curious, it was inspired by this song. See you guys next time!