Monday, 17 October 2011

Reduction to Tears


This will be a short entry for the thought which I have had is a rather simple one which will not take may words to be expressed. Simply, I have heard many times the expression “I was reduced to tears” or “it reduces me to tears” being used all around me, in the media and by other people. The phrase has become something of a set way of expressing the idea that we were made to bare ourselves emotionally in a circumstance we would have otherwise preferred not to. This then led me into thinking about the nature of social expectation in our society in as much as the general social idea seems to be that expressions of strong emotions on public is not “the done thing” and that it is somehow undesirable and odd in its deviation from our cultural centre.

I think that this is another negative aspect of society, in that it seems to me that it attempts to suppress something of our nature. I can fully accept the notion that much of our natures, particularly those parts of a more animalistic bent, are not to be desired and that to liberate such sides of ourselves would usher in a wild, lawless degree of existence. Regardless, I think that our emotions are part of makes us human, not just our capacity for reason alone. In this “rational age” emotion is considered wild, something which should be tamed by the forces of our intellect and our reason. This should not be the case, for if we suppress ourselves on an emotional level, then we lose some degree of our humanity and take a step closer to becoming like the Vulcans from the well-loved series Star-Trek. The Vulcans were technologically advanced and able to do things we could not due to their suppression of emotion and increased capacity for reason. But what would be the point of being able to transverse through space if we could not enjoy it?

Thus, I would say that the phrase reduced to tears is a contradiction in terms. Something that makes you show your emotions does not reduce you, even if these emotions were of a negative sort. No, when something makes you cry or provokes in you an emotion, it empowers you (though sometimes it certainly does not feel it) and reminds you and those around you that you are, like all the rest of us, just another human being. We’re human and thus we have emotions. Why anyone could ever think we would ever wish to be without them makes utterly no sense to me!

I may expand on this idea in further posts. For now, I end it here.

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