Accountability is an ethical issue. But it’s also a psychological one.
When you go through life never being held accountable, it impairs you psychologically. You might have otherwise been a decent, rational person. But when everyone walks around on eggshells about your feelings — never questioning or challenging you in any way — then it creates an unrealistic bubble around your mind and life.
Some people are more emotional than others. Some are more sensitive than others. We don’t really know why, but that’s how it is. Being more sensitive is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, deeper and more reflective thinkers probably FEEL more too, since feelings arise from thoughts.
However, if you create an atmosphere where people are accustomed to assuming all their feelings are valid, and must be paid attention to, merely because they have them, then you consequently create … well, look around you. It’s an aura of shallowness, superficiality, narcissism and self-centeredness that all arises from one thing: The false conviction that feelings are automatically and always valid.
Sadly, we have a real-life laboratory to provide support for my assertion. Going back to the early 1990s, I wrote about the dangers of telling children that their feelings were valid, their feelings represent who they are, and they have a RIGHT to their feelings and emotions above all else. I suggested that if you raise children to believe these things, they will turn into monsters. And isn’t that what we’re seeing today, with Generation Snowflake, the irrational turn to socialism, the whiny and unsustainable turning of everything and everyone into a victim? These are now the normal and to-be-expected cultural, psychological trends — in the younger generation more than anywhere else.
What the hell happened? I wrote about it decades ago. Nobody listened then. Today more are aware of the problem and willing to articulate it. But government schools and parents remain largely paralyzed by the problem. If your kid FEELS something, then it must be so. And if you fail to make it so, then you’re guilty of emotional abuse.
Imagine the West having been won with this attitude. Imagine the frontier of America having evolved into the utterly livable, twenty-first century place it is today if most children had been raised to believe their feelings are all that matter. Would we ever have had the automobile, the airplane, the computer technology and advanced state of medicine we know today? Highly doubtful.
So what does that mean for where we are going? Feelings and rational facts are not the same thing. Your feelings do NOT make you special, right or anything in particular. Your feelings are not an achievement. Feelings come from your underlying ideas and beliefs. Those ideas and beliefs are rational or crazy, sustainable or intolerable. It’s up to YOU to figure this out, and to allow others in your life to provide feedback.
Otherwise, you’ll end up like so many people today, especially, I’m sorry to say, so many of the younger ones: unaccountable snowflakes.
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