Sunday, February 10, 2013

I.Q. or E.Q.?
By Dr. Lucio F. Teoxon Jr.

It is not really a question of one or the other. The integral view sees the human being’s system of control as consisting of rational intelligence (IQ) and emotional maturity (EQ). In the academe, however, brainpower has been traditionally held as the hallmark of genius; hence, the overemphasis on academic excellence. Academicians worship at the altar of critical thinking and go on to define man as a rational being. This is as it should be.

Nevertheless, what is glossed over is the fact that there is such a thing as the egotism of the intellect or the pride of reason which could bring man to his downfall. This has been dramatically exemplified by Dostoevsky in the figure of Ivan Karamazov whose intellectual pride is at the root of his atheistic defiance of God and his eventual suicide. Man’s reason cannot carry him beyond a certain point.

There is something parochial if not simplistic in the view of man as solely a rational animal. Obviously, he is much else besides. As Joseph Campbell would say, man is an entity with a thousand faces. It must be a recognition of this truth that a book which redefines intelligence has become a New York Times bestseller and whose subject, which is also its title--emotional intelligence--was featured as the cover story in one of the issues of Time.

The main thesis of the aforesaid book is that emotional competence could matter more than IQ as a determinant of success in life. This conclusion is not idle speculation but has actually been buttressed by scientific research. Intelligence, interpreted as intellectual capacity, is too limited a conception as there are other abilities within our power like love, compassion, etc. The author, Daniel Goleman, shows these other forms of intelligence as factors that explain why sometimes bright people fail and the not-so-smart ones succeed.

The bottomline is that along with the cultivation of the mind, there should be the education of the heart. Emotional literacy could spell the difference for our survival. We need to rediscover the capacity for feeling, for friendliness, for goodwill if we are to transform our world sundered as it is by man’s inhumanity to man.

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