Greaser E.Q.

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In addition to “A Tale Of Two Cities,” there is at least one other book I should have read in high school. But, alas, I did not. As a teenager, I saw “The Outsiders” with Matt Dillon, but never read the book. Though it says “For junior and senior high readers” I’m now reading it in my early 30s.

What?! You’ve not read it, either? Here’s a quick re-cap:

Tulsa, Oklahoma in the late 60s. The two opposite ends of the socio-economic spectrum: the greasers (low class) and the socias (sp? Either way, the preppy rich kids)

A greaser, Pony Boy, is talking with a socia girl, Cherry. They’re talking about the differences in their two groups. The obvious answer is wealth; one has it, the other has none. Cherry makes another point, saying it’s not only money, but sophistication. Greasers are emotional-they react to everything that happens. Socias are more sophisticated and hide their feelings more.

After reading “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goalman last year, I’m one of the converted:: i.e., those who know eemotional intelligence is a bigger factor in success than someone’s I.Q. Part of being an emmotionally intelligent person is the ability to control one’s emotions.

Pony Boy, the narrator of “The Outsiders” tells the story of how another greaser got arrested. Why? The greaser was in line at a store, another customer made a comment to him and the greaser turned around and BAM! Knocked out the customer with one punch. Emotionally intelligent? Not even clos. Reactionary and hot tempered? You bet your life..

The wise of the world have known E.Q. for a long while. Hey, even in the late 60s when the book was written someone seemed to know it. But whether we learn to control our emotions from the Harvard professor’s book, or take a lesson in how NOT to do things from the greasers, it all adds up to one thing: out of control emotions can be the barrier to success.

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