THE BLOG

Logic and Emotion Are Not Mutually Exclusive

02/27/2015 07:38 pm ET | Updated Apr 29, 2015

Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock on Star Trek passed away today. The show debuted on NBC the year I was born, plus I lived in India (where all western entertainment experienced a delay), so needless to say, I didn't watch my first episode until many years later. But when I finally did, I recall being most drawn to the remarkably elementary, yet logical arguments by the character. Perhaps, the first seeds of pursuing Mathematics as a discipline were planted in my subconscious then. I also recall being surprised by the implication that being logical would have to necessarily mean that any display of emotion would be supplanted for stoic demeanor. I understand that the character may have needed to do so for the sake of contrast, but in life, being logical is hardly a prescription for being emotionless. In fact, it should and is quite to the contrary.

When I first embarked on a journey to also cook professionally, the decision was rooted in emotion, pride and what I've now termed a "professional midlife crisis." Since the beginning of that journey, I've been passionate about sourcing the best possible ingredients I can afford to buy. They often come from local farmers and nearby waters, because I know that it will logically lead to delicious food. If I didn't care about the well-being of the individuals who help provide me with the ingredients I use to nurture my culinary creativity and business goals, then it would be illogical for me to be perplexed and disappointed (emotional) when my business fails. Celebrating the bounty of one's region makes logical sense because the food is fresher, shipping costs are minimized and diners find comfort in familiar ingredients, to name just a few reasons.

As a teacher, my job is not just to teach students concepts and methods, but to also be the source of some stress in their lives. When they enter the workforce, they will undoubtedly face some stress and very often, one's success in the workplace and beyond depends as much on one's ability to handle adversity as it is to solve problems. To think critically (and logically) sometimes hinges on the ability to handle the stress of the moment. And thinking logically, solves problems.

I love my wife with everything I have. Naturally, she reciprocates the same to me. Logically, we are as happy as we can be because of it. Living long affords a level of prosperity. Because longevity logically allows us more time in our lives to be passionate about the things we care about. And we have Mr. Nimoy to thank for that observation and wish for half of his character's species. But to be prosperous, one doesn't have to live long because a conditional statement is not logically equivalent to its converse. And that is why I live each moment as if it may be my last.