''Emotions are part of our intelligence''

The Adeje Summer University was officially inaugurated today with an address by Spanish author and commentator Elsa Punset

16 july 2021
Having skipped a year due to the pandemic, the Adeje Summer University,  run jointly by the Adeje Council and the University of La Laguna, was officially inaugurated today.  “This initiative is responding to the need to create meeting spaces, places we can reflect on what is actually happening today”, commented Adeje mayor Jose Miguel Rodriguez Fraga.   He said plurality and social harmony are essential elements and are part of the transmitting of knowledge learned in centres of education to the society in general.  
The mayor said that the pandemic had affected more than our economic lives,  and had left a lasting mark on our personal lives and our mental health, and announced some details of a plan, with the University of La Laguna psychology department, to work with the most vulnerable members of society.  
The university rector, Rosa Aguilar, said that Covid-19 had also meant we have become more resistant, stronger, more adaptable, “we found that we could continue and meet our scientific and academic goals”.  Team work and institutional cooperation were vital, she added, saying that “the future will be one of mixed training and education, in particular to meet the needs of the labour market in a time of great uncertainty”. 
The guest speaker, Elsa Punset, addressed the subject of emotional intelligence in defence of optimism as a way of life. She said we are living in a world of complete change, and that is difficult to adapt to, “and many of us want to contribute to rebuilding following this crisis, even though we are afraid”. In reality, she said, given innovation and change, the last 25 years have been the most privileged in human history.    Accepting emotions as a part of defining our brain capacity is relatively new, she explained, but our rational and emotional circuits are intrinsically linked.  “We are finally beginning to understand that our emotions are not something banal, but in fact are part of our intelligence and we have to learn to manage them”.
Often optimism had a bad press, Punset told the audience, but it is the motor behind so many things and we need to learn to be more optimistic more serene, more compassionate.