When emotions get in the way of reason PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 11 April 2014 11:13

By REMEDIOS F. MARMOLEÑO

Emotions are very much a part of being human. We feel joy, irritation, anger; we are awed and we are exasperated. Our feelings run the gamut of emotions that human beings feel.  Of course we are also different types of human beings – some seem to be constantly wearing rose-tinted glasses and seeing the bright side of life; others tend to be the opposite, seeing only the shadows in the checkered pattern of sunlight and shadows of human life.

Our habitual mode of feelings influence to a very large degree our relationships with others, whether these relationships are happy and meaningful or the opposite. It also colors how we interpret the situations we encounter. In this second situation emotions impair our capacity to think objectively and aggravate what might already be an unpleasant situation. Worse still is when we influence others to mistrust when there might be no reason to do so.

To my mind this is, or has been, the situation relative to the condition of the IDPs  in the evacuation centers, particularly at the Enriquez sports complex. Let us see if we can review the pertinent facts.

The Enriquez sports complex was built to be precisely that, a venue for sports activities. It was never meant to be an evacuation center, thus it lacks the facilities for emergency accommodation for people who have been displaced from their usual habitation – no running water, no toilet facilities, no cooking facilities, no privacy for thousands of people.  The emergency situation created by the MNLF attack on our city on September 9, 2013 created this need and our city was not prepared for it. It has tried to do its best, but which sadly has been far from what was actually needed.

The IDPs could not return to their original sites of living because there has been made a plan to develop the sites and make them better communities for people to live in. In the meantime the IDPs continue to be in the evacuation centers, about which the IDPs are understandably unhappy. In a couple of months the communities  which make up “ground zero”  of the September attack  will be ready to receive the IDPs., but not all of them.

Very likely there will be less residences than before. Houses will not be  as close to each other to lower the density of people to conform to standards set for health and safety of the residents.  Some space will be taken for roads into the communities. Some areas will be “no build zones”  so as to lessen  the probability of  threats  posed by rising sea levels,  ferocious storms and tsunamis.

Are these considerations irrational?  Are they prejudiced towards particular groups because of their religion or their ethnic identity?  The rational mind will say, NO.  Some will be disadvantaged, true. But if the emotions are set aside the disadvantages  are not the objectives but the unavoidable consequences  of targeting the greater good for the greater number.

Those in our communities who have had the blessings of education and whose minds have been trained to reason should use these blessings to promote harmony among all of us,  rather than discord and mistrust. Sadly there are those who exploit the situation for their own ends.