January 4, 2018ramble

"Helpless rage is a major cause of falls in the home."
--"Don Giovanni" (by Garrison Keillor)

I've been thinking of this quote a lot lately, as I play with the idea of if it's ok (meaning, compatible with the kind of moral life I want to live) to keep my dismay at events cerebral, rather than deeply emotionally processed.

It's balancing a desire for a healthy sense of equanimity against the idea that without emotion, there is no motion; that every action we undertake happens when our emotional elephant gets the impetus to move, our rational rider just trying to guide the elephant as best it can (and then take credit for it with post-facto rationalization, its true talent.)

In general curating my own emotional landscape might be more of an option for me than some because I have an almost-OCDish history of justifying and rationalizing myself, and some practice letting my rational side preempt emotions it thinks are invalid.

Also, the option to do so might be coming from a place of privilege - but maybe not as much as it first appears. An existentially bleak universe and set-point theory of happiness, if valid, would be available to almost everyone regardless of privilege.

"Textese" and code-switching or why a period at the end of a text message sounds harsh. Often, good messages in a dialog trail off, inviting further reply. This makes me feel a bit better about all the smilies I use. (And slowly I'll be less aghast at "u" and "r" showing up so often.)