“Emotion class” should be a new requirement before life, or should it?

When we enter school, we have so many core classes such as math, science, business, and writing that we have to fulfill before we graduate school. Educators say those classes will help one be prepared in this crazy wild reality world outside of school. That seems to be pretty true. No matter what industry you choose to take, those all come handy and critical in any job.

But how come schools have not thought of adding a class in which students learn about emotion, love, and human interaction? We train all our life how to work, how to read, and how to think but we are sometime so helpless when it comes to human interaction and in communicating our emotions. Why is that? Why did we not think of offering a course to understand how to respect another person, how to effectively communicate ones delicate emotions, and how to express appreciation and love to your close people in life. Why don’t we consider adding a short required seminar for students to take on “emotions”? Is it really just a too touchy and fluffy topic to teach at school? All work, at the end of the day, requires human interaction. All love and friendship is rooted from human interaction. So considering all important and unimportant matters require human interaction, wouldn’t it be beneficial that schools offered a class or short seminars on “how to communicate and understand your emotions and thoughts more effectively” before we all exit this structured school life?

Because, just maybe, such better awareness early on could help us cope with emotions better. Maybe there will be less broken promises because they will understand that one should not make promises that one do not expect to keep in the first place. Maybe there will be less broken hearts because more will understand what a damage one could do to others by breaking someone emotionally apart. Maybe there will be less awkward work conversations because more people will learn how to speak respectful and thoughtful conversations. Maybe people will just gain better understanding how important it is to respect and honest to others in general. Maybe then overall there would be more good people in this society. Wouldn’t that be a better place?

But as soon as I jot down all these wonderfully “thoughtful” thoughts. I realized how utopia-tic this all may sound like. In fact, there are already puzzles that I feel stuck with: Who can be a good teacher for emotion class if no one has really figured out how to do good emotion handling? Everyone handles and communicates their thoughts and emotions differently, so there is really no one mechanism that can be taught to understand another person other than to be respectful to others. Furthermore, even if more people begin being more respectful, how would we know if they are being genuine or becoming a good actor? What if they just learn how to train themselves how to smile while they hide their ugly thoughts underneath those smiles? That’s even worse then where we are now!

But that’s not all. The greater possible problem is that by trying to generalize “understanding one another’s emotion through a certain standard” could potentially led the society to become forgetful of how hard it is to find trust and love in life. We might forget how hard it is to gain and maintain respect at work. We might forget how hard it is to find good and true life longing friends. We might forget how hard and valuable it is to find true love. Maybe we’ll not be able to write or understand songs, books, and movies that talk about difficult love because we will not have gone through what a complicated breakup means in life. Maybe we’ll forget how people had actually struggled and survived through these nearly impossible looking frustrating moments. We might forget how these challenges help one grow to become someone stronger and a better person. Without such challenges that motivate us to move forward maybe we’ll forget to appreciate how valuable living a rigorous life is. Maybe we’ll forget how to live and just start to exist. Or, maybe I’m just thinking too much.

I probably started over-thinking, but sometimes going to such degree of thinking helps us understand where we stand in society. So maybe emotion classes will be helpful. Or maybe not. It all depends on how we decide to take such lectures and perspectives into heart and into practice, before we take on that journey called life. Because life is pretty messy and complicated out there.

If you aren’t prepared, you might find yourself getting tangled. So get ready and learn how to enjoy the bumpy ride called ‘life.’ In fact, getting on this bumpy road is the best way to train your heart and emotions. How does one expect to land on a smooth road unless you take a drive out into that messy place and search for that road? So perhaps school should remind students how important it is to live a life with passion. Go live fully and search for your road and your path. Some days may be rough but some days you’ll be thrilled. And count each moment for they all mean something.


Copyright © 2014. Monica H. Kang, All Rights Reserved.