written by: Kosjenka Muk
Human warmth is a fragile thing. Even children who show or ask for emotional warmth are often rejected, ignored or even ridiculed. School, college and business are often brutal environments where people who fight for power are often the loudest and have the most followers, while more sensitive people keep quiet so that they wouldn’t become targets. Struggling to defend ourselves, we can become angry, bitter and cold – even to our own children. Many people extinguish their emotional warmth while still very young.
It can be difficult to keep your warmth in the world where at least a third of people admire coldness and arrogance, in which a huge number of people follow “leaders” such as Trump and Putin not despite, but because they show brute force without compassion, consideration and thoughtfulness. The same world in which warm men are increasingly loudly labeled as “beta”, while women are considered weak by definition. Where more and more people flaunt their hatred and prejudice, some truly believing that’s what would “save” their tribe.
But be aware that you have something the world desperately needs. Most people seek such warmth, no matter how they might deny it. Yes, there are people who will seek to exploit it if they notice it. But you can learn to recognize such people. You don’t have to wear your heart on the sleeve, but you can learn to cherish it, to protect it and to nurture it within. You can give it to yourself first, and then let it out to people who appreciate it (your children, too).
If the world seems to be trying to snuff, choke and demean your warmth, wrap it around yourself first. You might find that while you cannot lean on other people for support, you can most definitely lean on yourself. That is precious. Nobody can take it away. But you need to recognize the value of your warmth, rather than believing people who try to make you look weak.
Warmth is not a weakness. It’s power. It’s what makes society function. It’s what makes humanity survive. It makes people happy and gives their lives meaning.
Don’t get caught in the traditional prejudice that it’s “women’s job” to be warm. It’s everybody’s job. Women need warmth just as much as men, and men can be just as warm as any woman. That doesn’t take away from anybody’s strength, quite the opposite.
Don’t waste your warmth on people who don’t appreciate it, even if you feel you should be trying to help them. You won’t help them if they are not willing to see it and recognize its value. Don’t push your warmth towards people, but let it curl up within you, let it seep through and notice who comes close.
Keep your boundaries up. Notice who wants to feed of you without appreciating and returning in kind (even if sometimes they might pretend or believe that they do). If you let yourself be sucked dry and exhausted, there might be no warmth left for people who deserve it. Yes, you might need to use a tiny bit of anger to keep you aware of your needs and values. But a tiny bit of anger goes a long way, and it can save you from disappointment and bitterness. Your love and your anger can work together in harmony.
In the meantime, brute force might attract more and more followers, until it creates enough damage that people will be forced to learn that societies cannot survive in such a way. Then balance will be restored again – until some new generations forget those lessons and have to learn them again. But every time it needs to be re-learned, something is added to it. Emotional warmth becomes at least a bit more valuable. Evolution is slow, but ongoing.