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EXPERIENCE OF FORMING SPIRITUAL AND EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE THROUGH VOLUNTEERING

The article identifies the main ways of developing spiritual and emotional intelligence: assessment and expression of emotions, studying one’s own and others’ emotional states and ways of expressing them, managing emotions, making decisions and justifying one’s actions. Each of them is revealed through the experience of volunteering during the Russian aggression against Ukraine.
Keywords: spiritual and emotional intelligence, volunteer, volunteer activity, emotions, support, military aggression, Russian-Ukrainian war.

Boyarska-Khomenko A. V.
Doctor of Pedagogical Sciences, Associate Professor,
Head of the Department of Education and Innovative Pedagogy,
H. S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University, Kharkiv, Ukraine

Denysenko A. O.
Candidate of Pedagogical Sciences, Associate Professor,
Associate Professor of the Department of Education and Innovative Pedagogy,
H. S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University, Kharkiv, Ukraine

10.34142//2708-4809.SIUTY.2022.53

The concept of spiritual and emotional intelligence is quite new in scientific circulation; it began to be studied at the end of the twentieth century, in particular, considering it as a person’s ability to manage their own and other people’s emotions, spiritual state, to be able to accurately understand, evaluate, and express them.

We see the development of spiritual and emotional intelligence through the assessment and expression of emotions as a reflection of the spiritual state of a person, through the study of one’s own and others’ emotional states and ways of expressing them, through emotion management, through the ability to make decisions and justify one’s actions.

Since February 24, 2022, all residents of Ukraine have found themselves in stressful and unpredictable circumstances. More than ever before, everyone felt the uncertainty of the situation and the difficulty of making informed decisions, which was critically affected by their emotional state. Due to Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, the emotional and spiritual state of many residents of our country has been under a devastating attack due to the events taking place around them, the barrage of information from various sources, and concerns for the life and health of themselves and their families and friends. In view of this, many residents of Ukraine have found ways and means of coping with emotions and personal experiences and stress that are acceptable to them. Nine months of full-scale war have proved that volunteer activity has become one of the main ways not only to maintain the emotional and spiritual intelligence of Ukrainians, but also to form and develop it. Let us consider this in more detail.

Most Ukrainians have joined volunteer activities in various ways: some help defenders on the front line, others help civilians evacuate to safe places, others deliver humanitarian aid, others weave camouflage nets and socks, make candles, and some bring bread, butter and medicine to an old neighbor, repair broken windows, and remove debris and debris from enemy missiles from a neighboring house. There are many such examples of selflessness, spiritual maturity, and readiness for self-sacrifice among Ukrainians.

Through interaction during volunteer activities, emotions are evaluated and expressed both by those who help and those who are helped. Today it is extremely important to feel the emotions of others, because it contributes to the development of emotional intelligence, which allows you to more or less accurately assess the emotions of other people and saves you from misunderstandings. It is also worth expressing your own emotions accurately, expressing them in a way that corresponds to the original intention. During volunteering, this ability is formed during each meeting, because most people need not only material or humanitarian aid, but also a kind word, compassion, and understanding.

Another manifestation of spiritual and emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize other people’s emotions. It is not about knowing their names, types, or classifications. It’s about the broader cultural and social context: do we know what in our environment triggers certain emotions, what emotions the people you are helping are experiencing right now?

The same actions and words in different situations can evoke completely different emotions, or the same situations can cause diametrically opposite attitudes in different people. During volunteer work, it is extremely important to be able to recognize emotions, a wide range of which Ukrainians experience every day. If an external stimulus is very strong or unexpected, the reaction may be too violent or destructive. The formed spiritual and emotional intelligence helps volunteers not to forget that the initial reaction of the body, although strong, is short-lived.

It is worth noting that during volunteer work, one should learn to manage both one’s own and other people’s emotions. Volunteers themselves often encounter various situations that cause them to have strong emotions.

For example, the sight of destroyed villages and cities, burnt military equipment, traces of shell explosions, and civilians exhausted by war. Volunteers should be able to control their emotions, manage them, restrain them without showing them (not to get angry when they want to), regulate their state after the emotions have already manifested (to calm down after getting angry). It has been established that the more developed one’s spiritual and emotional intelligence is, the easier it is to regulate one’s own emotions. It should be noted that during volunteer activities, one should learn to manage the emotions of other people, and, if necessary, to evoke a sense of cooperation and participation, joy, confidence, etc. in the interlocutors.

It has been established that spiritual and emotional intelligence during volunteer work is formed through the ability to make decisions and justify one’s actions. Understanding emotions helps to decide how to behave and what decision to make. Emotions are information just like actions, words, and gestures. People use this information to justify their actions. Obviously, people make decisions about how to act in the next moment very quickly, and none of us make a plan in our heads “What I will do if my interlocutor starts crying or showing aggression during the meeting,” but read emotions play a significant role in this. They are information that needs to be analyzed. This is what contributes to the formation of spiritual and emotional intelligence during volunteering.

Thus, spiritual and emotional intelligence, as well as volunteering, is not only about one’s own feelings, but also about empathy, the ability to feel other people’s emotions and listen to them. We are convinced that any manifestation of volunteer activity in such a difficult time for the country helps Ukrainians to feel spiritual and emotional unity, to show prudence, readiness to defend the independence of their country, and to confidently move towards victory by helping each other. We are confident that having gained such a unique, albeit bitter, experience, we will have a solid foundation for rebuilding a peaceful Ukraine and raising a completely different generation that will know from the beginning how to control their emotions and direct them to conflict-free interaction.

List of references

1. Boyarska-Khomenko A. V. Implementation of the “Pedagogy of Peace” in the educational process of the H. S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University. Peace. Security. Education: materials of the round table with international participation, devoted to the Day of Ukrainian peacekeepers. Day of Ukrainian peacekeepers and the 30th anniversary of Ukraine’s participation in UN peacekeeping missions. Kharkiv, 2022. С. 6-9.
2. Boyarska-Khomenko AV, Denysenko AO From the experience of organizing scientific, educational and methodological and educational activities of the Department of History of Pedagogy and Comparative Pedagogy of H. S. Skovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University. New collegium. Kharkiv, 2019. С. 73-77.