Causes of Emotions

Let us examine from where these emotions (both positive and negative) crop up and what is their source. If incidents are viewed with wisdom and intellect, positive results would come to the fore, and if they are viewed without wisdom and prudence they will bear negative outcomes. The essence is to see how the youth views these occurrences. This is the very foundation of decision making - how the pros and cons are weighed.

Approaching these very incidents give rise to sentiments. Viewing these incidents negatively and with distrustful attitude would leave a negative impact on our u feelings and yield a detrimental blow to our sentiments. This would result in lethargy, restlessness, irate behavior on our part, losing interest in our work and irrational behavior.

If these incidents are viewed with a positive frame of mind and their roots and causes are investigated they will leave a positive impact on us. We would then start off with positive energy, zeal and shoulder our responsibilities in the best possible manner. Thus, our approach would be based on justice, moderation and intellect.

The reflection based on intellect is the basis of moderation in sentiments. True human value is preserved and one obtains the privilege of living an honorable life.

Ameerul Momineen Ali ibne Abi Talib (a.s) says:

حسن ظن راحة القلب و سلامة الدين

"Positive thoughts lead to a tranquil heart and are the safety of religion " 1

The more powerful and active the intellect of a person the more positive his thinking will be. He (a.s) says,

ظن الرجل على قدرعقله

"Positive thinking is in proportion to one's intellect." 2

Following factors lead to an intelligent approach and thinking:

1. Reasoning should be based on facts and not on rumors.

2. Clearly define one's aim and purpose.

3. Decision should be based on patience, forbearance and courage.

4. Distrustful thinking should be avoided; one should gather facts and consult others before deciding.

5. Decisions should not be based on sentiments and haste.

6. Incidents should be viewed factually and without internal conflicts.

7. Develop an expertise in solving issues by using intellect, wisdom and after consulting others.

Following factors indicate an unreasonable approach to resolving issues:

1. Treating issues with force and stubbornness.

2. Not accepting others' views.

3. Viewing everyone with suspicion.

4. Dealing the issue without weighing the pros and cons.

5. Proceeding on the matter based on prejudice and rumors.

6. Always being critical of oneself and others.

7. Forming premeditated opinion about the problems.

8. Not explaining the aim clearly. Not having an opinion about future.

9. Acting without consulting others.

Our approach and attitude under a particular condition reflect our views. If we ponder, we will find that consciously or unconsciously, we form some conclusions and evidences in our mind and base our decision on the same. This very mental conclusion is the cause of our happiness or the lack of it. It also brings an enthusiasm in us or deprives us of the same; makes us feel energetic while doing our duties or causes narrowness in our hearts.

In short, two different conditions materialize in our minds. Each of them is based on a logical or an illogical view. For instance, if a person has made a loss in business or an adolescent has lost a game or is unsuccessful in some exam, he can have two sets of thoughts:

1. I have failed. This is very humiliating. My honor has been crushed. I will never succeed in my life. This business/ studies are meaningless at present. (Irrational View)

2. I have failed and failure is definitely bad. But defeat can be a stepping stone to success. Lots of efforts do go in vain in this world. Not everyone succeeds in this world on first attempt. If I try again, I can succeed and make good the losses suffered earlier. (Rational View)

A single episode can be viewed from two perspectives. This influences our approach consciously or subconsciously. Our actions reflect our thinking. Our positive and negative views are based on our logical or illogical analysis of the matter. Now the question is "which is the correct view?" Clearly the one based on reasoning, patience, forbearance, facts and consultation will stand out as the correct view.

If we ponder a lot everyday but base our analysis on incorrect foundation and illogical thinking - as discussed above- the result too would be foolish, thereby making our lives difficult. Holy Quran elaborates this beautifully:

و يجعل الرجس على الذين لا يعقلون

“....and He casts uncleanness on those who will not understand.” 3

The youth must understand that all their discomfort and restlessness, anger and impatience are a result of their manner of thinking. Whenever any incident is not viewed in the light of intellect, the results too would be negative.

If our youths reform the thinking and base their decisions on intellect and reasoning instead of sentiments, they will experience happiness in their lives. When surrounded with problems, we must view the situation in the light of intellect and not base our opinion on haste and impatience. Only then we would be treading the path of religion and following its teachings.

Ameerul Momineen (a.s) says

انما يدرك الخيركله بالعقل و لا دين لمن لا عقل له

"Surely all goodness is obtained through intellect and there is no religion for the one without intellect" 4
  • 1. Ghurarul Hikam, pg. 453, H. 5322
  • 2. Ghurarul Hikam, pg. 72, H. 1078
  • 3. Surah Yunus, 10, verse 100
  • 4. Behaarul Anwaar, vol. 74, pg. 160