The Emotional Intelligence of Joshua & Caleb

In Numbers 14 we read about the 12 spies of Israel sent into the Promised Land to scope out Israel’s eventual homeland. No mention is made if they hired Realtors or not, although they drafted two reports as a result of the trip. One report by Joshua and Caleb and one report by the other ten.Joshua_Promised_Land

One can infer from the text that each man sent was one of his tribes best. However, no mention is made of the requirements, qualifications, or skills needed to be the best. Were they the smartest (IQ), most charismatic, strongest, loudest, most pious, richest, or was it based on nepotism, they were the oldest of the tribes literal lineage to whichever son of Israel bore the name of the tribe?

My wife likes to tease me about my inability to see signs while driving, not directional signs, but billboards. For example, while we’re traveling along the freeway she will ask, “Did you see that sign about _____?” (and she’ll mention the sign’s message). I will usually answer “no.” This will frustrate her and she will then explain how blind I am to my surroundings.

Remember that it’s easy to miss something you are not looking for. Framing this into a positive: It’s easier and more likely to see what you are looking for.

I’m not interested in almost anything displayed on a sign and furthermore, I typically use car time to think, meditate, discuss something of value, or listen to a book. Of course, none of that is possible with passengers in the car who specialize in surface talk. During these times I now resort to reading signs in hopes that something will trigger a deep thought or question that I can use to escape Mediocristan (City of Mediocrity).

What were Joshua and Caleb looking for when they spied on the Promised Land occupied by another people? Compare the answer to what the other 10 were looking for?

Joshua and Caleb wanted to discover why they could and would occupy the land. The other ten wanted to find out why they could not. The self-talk that followed would make any Venting-addict proud. The ten tribes talked themselves out of a golden opportunity because they only saw part of the picture. Their inability to be self-aware cost them their lives, literally.

Each one died of a plague, and every member of their respective tribes also died before they reached the Promised Land, including the innocent women and children. Family blindness and low self-awareness is passed on generationally as are many behavior addictions. Each of us has the ability and the right to stop harmful behaviors and pattern (DC 98:39-46).

We can each be the Joshua or Caleb of our families; it depends on what we choose to see.

PS        Since my wife has teased me for so many years, I’ve learned to read signs while driving. I am, at this point in my life, not very pleased with this newly acquired habit. It ruins my drive, pollutes my mind, and removes any semblance of the spirit that is usually present when the natural man is not present.

By observation the state with the greatest number of signs per freeway mile is Utah. My new focus or habit I want to develop is to learn to ignore signs while driving.


Published by

Richard Himmer

Author, PhD in Organizational Psychology.

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