July 31, 2013

Intelligence of the Heart. ~ Jacob George

 I’ll begin with some real life incidents that happened to me.

Incident 1: One day, I was traveling in a general compartment of a train. To be precise, it was the 2:30 p.m. train to Chennai from Trivandrum. It was after Diwali holidays, so the train was heavily crowded. A group of students had occupied a section of the compartment and they were occupying the top seats too (intended for luggage).

The students at the top had to climb down to share some food with their friends at bottom. All students climbed down with ease except one girl, who didn’t know how to climb down. Her friends at the bottom started to joke and laugh at her, joined by some co passengers, “if you don’t know to climb down why did you go up?”

Immediately after the laughing ceased, a girl from the bottom got up and walked down to the aisle (where normally people climb up/down). She gestured to her friend to climb down. Her friend on top told her that she was afraid, to which she gestured with her hand that “Don’t worry, if anything awkward happens I will take care.” Astonishingly, the other girl climbed down with little or no help from the one at bottom. I thought of standing up and applauding at the instant, but instead I showed a thumbs up sign to the other girl to which she nodded.

Back during my train journey, I kept pondering over what type of intelligence the girl had used which made her rise like a hero during the situation. Was it her academic skills that mattered?

Incident 2: A couple of months back I was on the same train. A local vendor (an old lady) was selling some eatables. After making her sale, tired of the days work, she asked a passenger sitting at the window seat to kindly let her sit because she had a headache and wanted to breathe fresh air. He refused.

A local passenger sitting in the aisle row (near to the window) got up and offered his seat. He left at the direction of exit, towards the back side of the coach and I joined him. He told me that he didn’t have the money nor the need to buy what the old lady was selling, but he was thinking of how he could be of help to the vendor. It was much like a God-sent opportunity for him to be able to help in this way. When I returned to my seat I found the vendor cracking jokes with another old lady sitting next to her.

Incident 3: This happened during my first job. I was in sales, and our company was a hardcore sales organization. There was a particular friend of mine who had and engineering and a management degree. Since we were in sales we would have parties at the end of the month after reaching our targets; Drinks were common at such parties.

This particular friend (say X) of mine would not take drinks during college. To make our boss feel elated we told him that sir X has not taken drinks so far, but maybe he could make him drink today. We all sat in a room for the routine and my boss announced that Mr X was joining us tonight for drinks. Though my friend resisted, in the end he succumbed to what my boss demanded. We all thought our boss had won. He asked to place glasses as per the head count and drinks were poured into each glasses. My boss declared that Mr. X would start the party today by sipping first. We all raised our glasses for a “cheers.”

Then something unusual happened. My friend X dropped his glass on the table, looked straight into the eyes of my boss and said ”Boss, even if none among us are going to drink a peg more from these glasses again, I won’t touch this glass anymore!” We all knew our boss had a terrible temper (he had told us not to drop our glasses without drinking a sip after saying cheers), but instead he just said, “Mr. X won’t join us tonight for drinks. Lets us drink and enjoy.” Mr. X joined us for the party, but did not take any drinks.

The next day at the office, I asked him where he got the courage to say no to the boss. My friend laughed at me and after a bit of hesitancy told me his story:

His mother went through much hardship to see him through his studies. His father was a drunkard. While he was a kid (he was the eldest, he had two younger sisters), his father would come home drunk and fight with his mother and beat her for not giving him the money to drink. His mother would silently suffer all of this, and made him promise that when he grew up he wouldn’t drink. My friend then told me, “Tomorrow I may stand to lose my job / career, but I am not worried. I don’t want to break the promise given to my mother”. Frankly I fumbled for words. I did not know how to answer him. That day when I went to my bosses’ cabin I knew I had a job in hand.

We have addressed the instances that happened. But what was it about these situations that mattered? I recall my childhood lessons where we studied a subject for less than an hour a week.

I am talking about moral science. It reminded me that this is the most important subject, because it teaches you how to live. We all know of the intelligence of the brain and we deem ourselves as intelligent beings. There are well known methods to measure intelligence of the brain like IQ tests and academic brilliance, but does the brain alone test the intelligence for us intelligent beings?

Recalling the incidents mentioned above, it wasn’t a case of intelligence of the brain that mattered. It was something else that mattered that made them stand up and deviate from the norm. I have brushed through the available resources, but all speak of intelligence of the brain alone.

However, there is something beyond this, intelligence of something else: Intelligence of the Heart.

It can be associated with the term Emotional Intelligence (EI). It speaks of intelligence of the heart.

I have tried to observe these kind of people, and have found the following common traits of people with a high amount of Intelligence of the Heart (IH).

  1. At Perfect Harmony with Themselves: This is a distinguishing feature of IH people. IH people are always at perfect harmony with themselves. They enjoy/indulge in solitude more than anyone else. They tend not to escape it but rather to enjoy it. This can be more pronounced/observed during journey times. People try all sort of things like sleeping, reading , listening to music , playing games, doing work, to escape the boredom. But IH people on the other hand rather than escaping, indulge in it. They observe things around them and don’t make others feel they are bored. They enjoy solitude rather than avoid it.
  2. Authenticity: What is the meaning of this word? Does it have anything to do with the moral fabric of a person? It simply can be defined as the power to be oneself. IH people are authentic. Their direction and priorities are clear.
  3. Honesty: IH people are honest. They stand up to any situation where they are required to exhibit this trait.
  4. Respect for the other sex: IH people respect and honor the opposite sex.
  5. Observers: IH people are keen observers. They are aware of the situations around them.They observe other people, things around them, and nature.
  6. Thinkers: IH people are good thinkers. They use the help of their brains when making judgments/conclusions.
  7. Proactive: Their pro-activeness shows in their ability to master situations. Rather than being a slave to situations, they master the given situation. They are able to guess how a situation would unfold and hence act accordingly. They are proactive rather than reactive.
  8. Logic: IH people have a definite reason for everything. They do things/arrive at judgments based on this logic.

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Assist Ed: Julie Garcia/Ed: Sara Crolick

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