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No Excuses – Emotional Intelligence

No Excuses – Emotional Intelligence
March 09
06:10 2019

By Neferetary Marin –

There are many of my schoolmates and teachers who would say that I have been an activist since preschool…maybe I had that passion, maybe the seed of revolution was planted in my heart from listening to people like Joseph Andrews, Teodoso Ochoa and the Rt. Hon. George Price as I was growing up. I lived on Burns Avenue in those days and public meetings were held next to Tia Sarah’s house and I learned to love Belize and to fight for our territory and for justice for our people.

I became an activist in my very early teen years, a rebel and any cause was enough to fight for.

The last twenty plus years saw me working tirelessly; fighting on all fronts: crime, poverty, environmental issues, at-risk youth, territorial integrity, corruption and injustices at all levels…while still trying to build an organization and raise my 4 children.

I had passion with no limits and no fear; in my youth this was something I was proud of; but it tired me out. I saw no progress, and it gained me a lot of enemies in high places and a lot of friends in low places.

I have learned many lessons. Above all I have witnessed the resilience of our people; the disparity in thought and action.
Most of all I realized that in all the good I was doing, I was becoming ugly inside and out because I was bitter, and that fact scared me. I knew I was doing everything for the right reasons, yet there was something missing in my leadership and I had to fix it before I could move on.

So 5 years ago I removed myself from public life and spent a lot of time fasting and praying for direction. After about a year, I realized that what I was seeking was emotional intelligence. This became my goal!

Human beings are made to be both rational and emotional creatures. To be able to lead, I had to have the ability to acknowledge mine and others’ emotions, and work to understand and manage them constructively and appropriately. The ability to recognize emotions from passion and truth from assumptions, not just in my thoughts but in others as well, has much to do with my inner peace, my success and the possibilities of leading people.

Emotions are highly contagious and easily affect others. This is particularly true if the emotions are intense and have been experienced over a longer period of time. It could take quite some time before rationality, reason and “cooler heads” return; this makes emotional Intelligence a goal which less than 2% of the world’s population can achieve completely. Still, the mere desire to achieve this is commendable, though it requires a lot of patience and tongue biting.

The choice I made to re-enter public life is by no stretch of the imagination an easy choice. It was hands down the most difficult decision I have made in my adult life. Becoming a political candidate and more so the leader of a political party is a decision I could never have made alone. It’s an important moment and if my family, my friends, my circle was not tight, tuned and ready, this moment could easily be squandered. Politics I know will turn the spotlight on me, just not on me alone; the spotlight will be on my family, my friends, my associates, my colleagues, even on those social media friends I have never met. Everything in my life and in my past is fair game for the electorate, for the media and worse, for my male opponents. So, either I get closer to my emotional Intelligence goal or I start practicing kickboxing again.

Politics is always very emotionally charged. The emotional messages and comments on social media and talk shows will intensify in the next few weeks. The tone of voice, verbal and non-verbal gestures, insinuations, language used by political leaders and their minions will become much more derogatory and they will attempt to paint the BPF and all alternatives or opposition as the enemy, to elicit emotions of distrust among potential voters.

By insinuating and sometimes directly painting us as the “enemy” politicians can stir up strong emotions of fear, anger, distrust and paranoia among voters without any real or logical reason.

You see, if the PUDP can succeed in instilling fear and doubt and distrust against us, these emotions can override all rational thinking. Belizeans must be carful not to fall for this age old tactic because these kinds of leaders lead nations into chaos, uncertainty, anger and disaster. These emotions can motivate people to act emotionally and irrationally and this is ultimately the only tactic they can use to distract us from reality.

These emotions are what push potential voters to choose one or the other political candidate; it provides a powerful way to influence the outcome of an election.

Those politicians who rely primarily on stirring up emotions to provide them with power may be exposed when rationality returns (as we have experienced with Prime Minister Barrow).
On the other hand, leaders who can provide voters with calmness and reason, while acknowledging emotions, which is much more sustainable in the longer term, have a greater chance of running the country successfully; this strategy, however, takes more time and more patience.
The PUDP strategy has always been to divide, confuse and win elections. The BPF strategy is to educate, unite and win an election. Which is best is clear, but which will win is up to you.

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