Emotional Intelligence: A Deficit in Pakistan
By Jawad Raza Khan
In a country like Pakistan, you will find extremes of reactions to the events happening around the globe, at national level, in a society or at an individual pedestal. Angry mob torching national assets, and at the same time groups of young men busy in making credible and economically feasible energy solutions through various means. You will find people killing others mercilessly on one context or the other including the all peaceful religion of Islam, but the other side of the coin bears impression of Great Edhi sahib as well.
"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." – Charles Darwin
But, I think Mr. Darwin must had not visited this part of the world, otherwise after observing such a wide and wild spectrum of responses, he could have given a second thought before even thinking about the delivered quotation……with due respect sir.
This brings us to an intermediate conclusion, that there is something more important than sheer intelligence for controlled reactions of the individuals and societies and ironically that is in scanty amongst the masses of Pakistan. This holds good for our leadership as well and here lies the point to ponder and real worry for Pakistan as a nation. Fear factor for Pakistan is the Emotional Quotient or Emotional Intelligence.
Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions. Some researchers suggest that emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened, while other claim it is an inborn characteristic. If it is in born characteristic, may Allah be with us, but for safety reasons, I will go by the former opinion.
Since 1990, Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer have been the leading researchers on emotional intelligence. In their influential article “Emotional Intelligence,” they defined emotional intelligence as, “the subset of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one's own and others' feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one's thinking and actions”. Salovey and Mayer proposed a model that identified four different factors of emotional intelligence: the perception of emotion, the ability reason using emotions, the ability to understand emotion, and the ability to manage emotions.
Now how as a Pakistani I can expect this all to be known and analyzed by my lord Leaders and specially our great Parliamentarians, with their bright educational background with dishonest and corrupt faces of them in the foreground. As I am trying to analytically study the effects of low emotional intelligence, I as a Pakistani need to take chill pill as well………………….ofhhh………………..ok.
Just to get a bit lighter, I heard a joke on emotional intelligence, it goes like this:
Husband to wife: When I get mad at you, you never fight back. How do you control your anger?
Wife: I just clean the toilet bowl.
Husband: How this can help you?
Wife: Hubby! I use your toothbrush.
This proves at least one point that if women are not compatible in IQ with their counterpart they definitely enjoy an edge in the factor of Emotional Intelligence (EI).
By and large, every theorist has declared patience as a virtue for high emotional intelligence. Incidentally, the study for emotional intelligence was taken up to improve the human efficiency for organizational goals but if we focus our thoughts on national efficiency, same factor will indeed come out as a decisive weapon in this regard.
Quantifying the element of patience in our society needs no critical observation; from un-necessary blowing of car horns to the horrifying target killings; from fights in queues to the wrapping up of HEC by the Government and from aerial firing during India Pakistan encounter well before the end of game to the hastily attempted counter punch on judiciary though Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s trial by executives, tells us the complete story of Patience in Pakistani society.
Patience is not one-dimensional, but has several facets. Patience can be categorized into three competencies, or sub-virtues. Those sub-virtues are three P’s: perspective, politics and persistence.
By a sheer glance at the sub virtues of patience, I am yet again brought to the conclusion, which makes media the most effective weapon for improving the level of our emotional intelligence. One cannot forget the suicide committed by the widow of Raymond’s victim in Lahore, as now the family of the victim including his parents have been given “khoon baha” (blood money) alongwith the US citizenship but who else than media can be made more responsible for creating such an ugly mess after the Lahore incident resulting into yet another human loss. I can quote hundreds of examples like that but point in discussion is not blame game but to create an understanding that tools which can effectively stop suicides like the one discussed above must play their role. The factor which took living Shumiala to grave with all other contributing factors like weak, in efficient and incompetent leadership, the cruel media, lack of patience in our society also cannot be relegated completely and this can easily find its roots in below average emotional intelligence in the masses of Pakistan.
It’s now high time to improve this very important aspect of our life especially as a society and a nation. The tools available to the State especially media may be incorporated to generate a formal plan in this regard so that Pakistani society in general can improve its all deteriorating standard of Emotional Intelligence. If such a plan is not made to be in place, incidents like killing of two brothers in Sialkot will become a regular feature in our society. Talking big things without realizing the importance of smaller issues and not working persistently on it can bring nothing but chaos to Pakistan, what we need to guard against it, to start with from the individual level.
The said individual guard coupled with awareness program through potent media campaign for propagating the aspect of emotional intelligence which can bring stability to individuals, societies and in turn stability to the complete nation.
If Pakistan can achieve this emotional stability, it will have more reasons to prosper and will be able to develop more progressive relations with international community.