Sentiments

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Sentiments are what they are-fleeting emotions that often cloud out proper judgement.

But sentiments alone, are the platforms on which many people base their decisions on; like what to wear; what to eat; what to buy and so on.

The more bizarre scenarios are where people apply sentiments to things that simply require commonsense; like rooting for and expecting your preferred political candidate to eclipse his opponent at a poll when you didn’t even register to vote. Or throwing good money into a stock whose financial fundamentals you have no idea about but because some people mentioned they were buying, you too decided to join them.

Worse still, when sentiments have the rule over groups of people, they  become even more destructive. Racism for instance, is a sentiment about racial superiority over people that do not share your skin color; Six million Jews died during the holocaust because of Nazism; over Three million non-white South Africans were removed from their homes and forced into segregation because of Apartheid;  Over Three Thousand Africa Americans and One Thousand whites were lynched in American between 1882 and 1968 because of White Suprematism.

And like racism,  sexism, radical Islamism,  nepotism and a host of other sentiments actually hold many of us bound in the dogma of other people, who themselves may not match us in terms of intelligence. Sentiments are often illogical. Boko Haram is the offshoot of sentiment against Western Education. White supremacy is an offshoot of sentiments of white people God’s preferred race.

The truth is, sentiments are a liability, more than an asset; disrupting our capacity for counter-intuitive creativity. But are we better off without them? I don’t think so. Patriotism, for example, is a good sentiment, though by itself can also be abused. Patriotism has forged a lot of cohesion towards progress in many countries.  So sentiments can also be helpful when channelled positively based on clear-headed thought.

My summation however,  is that sentiments should always be rationalized. What’s yours?

 

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