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The Iron Lady: The Tyranny of Feelings

I recently saw the Iron Lady.  It was an awesome movie.  Meryl Streep's performance was legendary cementing her place as the greatest actress in history. I would strongly recommend watching this movie. 

Here is my favorite scene of the movie it takes place as Margaret Thatcher, now suffering from Alzheimer's responds to her doctor to the question, "How are you feeling?"




How do you feel? 

This is the question I have heard a million times in my life.  Particularly I have annoying memories of encounter style share groups in college and in retreats where we were all encouraged to share our feelings.  Feelings, feelings, feelings it seems that our country, culture, are all obsessed with feelings.


There isn't anything wrong with sharing feelings with others, but when it becomes the guiding question of an experience, then there is something terribly wrong since feelings don't convey the truth.  The truth is truth irrespective of feelings.

How do you feel?

The obvious problem with the obsession of feelings is that it becomes a platform for narcissism and self idolatry.  Our faith teaches us the opposite, that we should place the needs of others ahead of our own. 

The other problem with this mentality is that it causes people to shirk responsibility.  So many times I have seen flaky coworkers take off or not even show up simply because they didn't feel "good."  When a society becomes obsessed with feelings then it becomes dangerously individualistic; because the realm of feelings is purely subjective.  When feelings are not subordinate to the truth, then you have created a society of entitled wimps dictated by feelings, but not by the truth of responsibility.

Let me end this post with Margaret Thatcher's own words:

"Watch your thoughts for they become words.  Watch your words for they become actions. Watch your actions for they become habits.  Watch your habits for they become your character.  Watch your character for it becomes your destiny.  What we think we become. "
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