#157: Emotional vs. Rational Problems
telling a crying child: “Be logical. Stop crying."
Child: I really want this chocolate cake.
Adult: It’s bad for you, so you shouldn’t have it.
Child: It’s bad for me later, but I want the cake now.
This here is the reason for the consistent crashing of human plans. Purely emotional short-term desires drive the child. Rational, long-term aspirations drive the adult. These are two people with very different ideas of where they want to go stuck in the same seat. Of course, we want to get to the beautiful mountain that the adult is talking about. At the same time, we want the ride to be infused with the fun spontaneity that the child demands.
The issue is in trying to resolve an emotional problem rationally, as in telling a crying child: “Be logical. Stop crying". I need to attend to the problem within the framework where it originated. That means I cannot solve a short-term ask with a long-term promise. I can only negotiate with the child to make him wait, give him the cake in smaller pieces, make him work for it, or replace the desire with a different one. My success as an individual depends on the extent to which I can address short-term desires while still pursuing long-term goals. So I tell myself: