Which came first? Our intelligence or our emotions? Perhaps some of us struggle with either concept. Are you more like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz who sang "If I only had a Heart", or like the scarecrow who tried to ponder "If I only had a Brain"?
Anthropologists are now suggesting that love came before reason. To put it simply, love was first.
At least that is the current thinking. Scientists, of course, seek to "unravel any riddle", to quote from the musical. The received wisdom used to be that compassion evolved gradually out of increased intellectual capacity. In other words, it was our brain that taught us to "register emotion, jealousy, devotion and to really feel the part". Recent research is that our caring side arose in order to maintain our gene pool and out of collectively defending ourselves from predators. This in turn gave rise to a greater ability to think of things we "never thunk before". It was heart before head, and not the other way around.
More research on this theory is continuing.
Interestingly, however, the Bible has something to say about the priority of love. In referring to God, one of Jesus' disciples explained: "we love because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19 ESV). Therefore, one could say, that love originates with God. It is his gift to humankind.
For us, God's love was first.
Best regards, February Because Magazine can be downloaded here
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