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Eric's; The Heat of the Moment

Updated on June 23, 2020
Ericdierker profile image

Political Science, Philosophy, Business were majors and minors in undergrad. Post areas in Law, Security, Insurance and Theology.

Well This is Temperature of the Moment

Wouldn't wear a hat like that at 32 degrees.
Wouldn't wear a hat like that at 32 degrees. | Source

Just What Is It?

Man does some things in the heat of the moment. It is as if what was done was out of your hands. Youth brings action in the heat of the moment. Age brings a wisdom that dissipates the heat of the moment. It is understood that the term “heat of the moment” refers to action taken or not taken in the midst of hot circumstances. Can the heat of the moment bring good actions or inactions? Can the heat of the moment be good?

There is an interesting term that floats around criminal law circles and it is called the “criminal milieu”. Milieu generally is about social environment and the criminal part makes it clear we are talking about an environment in which crime is being committed. But think of an emergency room. Let us call it the emergency medical milieu. The doctor who wins battles is not caught up in it. Her judgment is with equanimity and constancy. She survives from one crisis to another – an ultimate in heat of the moment. Let us say 2 dramatic episodes every hour of an 8 hours shift. Could mistakes be just assumed in such an environment? Of course, so for every 8 hours there are smaller episodes to correct matters. We can see how the heat of the moment would be barely livable.

Heat of battle. Friendly fire. Soldiers on two sides shooting at each other to try and kill each other. We skip heat of the moment here and go right to “heat of battle”. Perhaps that applies in a certain way to negotiating a freeway at rush hour. Obviously not the same but it shows us some perspective on what it is to be in the heat of the moment. Very often it is just a matter of perception. So in the heat of battle mistakes are made. That is just a natural fact. In the heat of battle soldiers often do heroic acts of bravery and sadly sometimes make mistakes that end up killing comrades.

Heat of the moment does not excuse conduct it simply explains the milieu and offers insight as to what causes behavior in such circumstances. One would not run into a burning building, unless in the heat of the moment it is clear there is a child inside.

Story Line

Growing in the Heat

A walk.
A walk. | Source

Perspective

There are so many instances of social environment effecting the actions of people. I like love and passion. Not the brotherly love type but that spark between two that creates the heat of the moment. Oh how many regrettable “decisions” are made at such times? And oh how many wonderful relations start as such and remain as such. The beauty of love at first sight is a resplendent example of such a social environment that allows for such. Maybe just a waiter who meets eye to eye with a lovely patron.

It would seem that there is agreement that that is good heat of the moment. On the other hand it may be a horrible situation for a dad. This reminds us that people looking in 20/20 hindsight may be bad judges of actions taken in the heat of the moment. We harken back to the heat of battle. Bad decisions are easy to call from a headquarters.

Sports are a perfect place to see heat of the moment from both the player’s part and the fan participants part. “How could he have passed that interception?” How did she hook that drive so badly? We realize that what we call out for perfection is really unrealistic in the circumstances. I understand that many a great performer got jitters so bad before performing that they would vomit prior to going on stage or before the cameras. Perhaps someone who is “bad at taking tests” shines some light on the issue.

Parents, siblings and spouses. They say you cannot take back words spoken even in a heat of the moment. Somethings just cut too deeply to be healed with apologies and explanations. But that reminds us that the victim of something done in the heat of the moment needs to see things from both sides. Snap judgments in return for things done in the heat of the battle are almost always bad. Our person judging may just be acting in their own heat of the moment and things fall to pieces and resentments created.

The Path That Gets Us Where We Are

One of my favorites somewhere near Saigon.
One of my favorites somewhere near Saigon. | Source

The Story

Easy Does It!

We speak of this and that and pass judgments on folks living in that criminal milieu. I suggest that in maturity we seldom leave out the circumstances of actions and if we do not we need to grow up a bit. It hits the news but I wonder how many people have actually been resuscitated and brought back to life. Someone acted in a heat of the moment and saved that soul. And perhaps the resuscitated put themselves in that condition in the heat of the moment.

TV shows and movies are cool because the main goal is to put the viewer in the milieu. A good book or poem puts you right there into the heat of the moment. The heroin forges through and acts the part even though all hell is breaking loose around her. The saved victim plays there part. I love horror movie scenes where you just have to yell, runaway and go back. What talent those writers have.

I wonder sometimes about published “news” or the fad of late; can video capture that heat of the moment. I doubt it or movies would be about 20 minutes long. Books could be written is 40 pages. The backdrop must be developed before the short scene makes sense. Tension and apprehension and anticipation must be shown first. The cops in our movies with a complicated shooting need prior and current situations or milieu for us to decide if the cop acted as a hero or a bloodthirsty crazed vigilante with a badge. The cop, and murder mysteries that last the longest in popularity and succeed are not about the climax but about building the personalities and twists and foibles.

I suggest that the art reflects a closer view of reality than a 2 minute viral video. Why did the hero risk his life? And let us also see the mundane day to day that helps us understand the character.

In a film production or book the best ones leave us with some questioning of the lead character. Was his action in taking down that villain justified or should he have been able to bring him in for trial? Without the lead up and development of the personalities based on the past and what the future may possibly bring we are at a loss on the judgment of the lead actress.

The heat of the moment is not black and white. The situation of the human condition makes us make snap judgments all the time. But a problem occurs when we feel obliged to make a snap judgment on those who are in that moment. Armchair quarterbacks and news folks who have to be first to report make serious errors that need not be taken if the momentary occurrence is not viewed with maturity and understanding of the milieu. I saw a clip where a protestor, seemingly peaceful took up a bottle and through it at the police. I did not have to judge him, not my call. But I knew the backdrop. Not justified violence but understandable from the fragile human condition perspective.

Let us not jump to a conclusion in the first scene/seen of play. Perhaps the hero or villain just appear that way to trap us into our own preconceived notions.

Judge others as you would be judged. Not on 40 seconds of attention but on the heat of the moment.

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    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Linda. My poor wife decries "Don't you have anything better to do?" I do, but I like doing this a whole lot.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      10 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      You write some thought-provoking articles, Eric, which I appreciate. Behavior in the heat of the moment is an important topic to consider.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      That is very kind EK

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks Devika I am glad you got something good out of it.

    • Moondot1822 profile image

      EK Jadoon 

      10 months ago from Abbottabad Pakistan

      What could be better than that? You are a role model for me. I really mean it.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      10 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Isn't that adorable? Always lessons to keep in mind and so important to remember. Your style is rewarding to us all.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you EK for that very uplifting comment. I will be over in just a bit to get you up and running into being featured. You have it in you, or I would not be following you.

    • Moondot1822 profile image

      EK Jadoon 

      10 months ago from Abbottabad Pakistan

      You are the best writer I've ever read. I am a new hubber and trying my best to write a featured article. You have read my first article but unfortunately, it didn't pass QAP. I have just published another article and it was very carefully written but again didn't pas QAP. I don't know what to do.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill that is a very nice compliment. I thank you. But I suggest you put on these glasses with prudence lest,,,,

    • lifegate profile image

      William Kovacic 

      10 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

      You have such a unique way of looking at things, Eric. We all need to put on your glasses sometimes, maybe most of the time. I guess maybe you do let us use your glasses through your writing, and for that, I say thank you, sir. Have a wonderful week!!!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Anupan we have so much fun cooking. My wife at 27 had never ever cooked a meal. Really. Now after 20 years she is a marvelous Southeastern Asian cuisine cook. My ten year old has taken over sandwiches and the like, of course we have Mexican influence. And I even cooked in France for a bit, though I do American mostly. But if you do not like curry, humus and falaful you are missing out.

      Put that together with Linda Lum AKA Carb Diva here and away we go.

    • Anupam Mitu profile image

      Anupam Mitu 

      10 months ago from MUMBAI

      What were you cooking Eric? For a long time I have not cooked but getting obese!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanx Dora. In older age I am blessed to want to watch more and act slowly.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Linda, food is such a wonderful expression of love when done that way. You are a food angel.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      10 months ago from The Caribbean

      Eric, you're so right. Often when the scene plays out, we change our perspective. In the heat of the moment, watching and listening come in handy.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      10 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Eric, you're so sweet. In my book, food = love, so I'm just sharing the love. It's an Eric thing.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Liz thank you for your constant support. I have been praying on whether I should put more clear references to the Bible. It is my feeling that I use it but do not cite it. But there is a balance and I like this as it found it, I think. I just love growing up.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Lina you always make me think of passion. You have some real heat of the moment stuff - with all that cooking :-)

      And you have passion without the complications of solo opinions. I just really like how you pass off recipes to others. Like you are not looking for the credit. That my friend is the cool of the moment.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I thank you Lorna and apologize for getting back to you so slowly. Somehow it works out that weeds come up the same time and vegetables. Hmm.

      Lorna I just really like black and white and might find it once a week or so. We are lucky because it is really hard to get all angry at gray. It makes for bad movies ;-)

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      10 months ago from UK

      You raise some interesting points in this article. I often think that I am in danger of opening my mouth before I engage my brain so that I say the first thing that comes into my head, risking putting my foot in it. Your biblical reference to judging others is very worthwhile.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 

      10 months ago from Washington State, USA

      In the heat of (the moment, battle, passion). All are instantaneous reactions, without thought or discernment. Sometimes we get lucky and the choice we make is the right one. But more often than not, that quick reaction is not always the best choice.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      10 months ago

      There are so many instances in life where we find ourselves jumping to the wrong conclusion, or depending on how you look at it the right conclusion. Life for me has never been black or white, it's that shade of grey where I usually find the answers. This was a thought provoking article Eric and an excellent write.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      ruby, I am not so good at this, my favorite exercise is jumping to conclusions.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      10 months ago from Southern Illinois

      Many actions are done in the heat of the moment, and we're sorry we acted so quickly without thinking it through. This message is a reminder to not make snap judgements. Thanks Eric.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      thank you much Anupam, Out heat of the moment was cooking this morning.

    • Anupam Mitu profile image

      Anupam Mitu 

      10 months ago from MUMBAI

      Nice one! Heat of the moment

      And the pictures that you have used are treat for the eyes. So sweet son

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Indeed Manatita you feed and serve my spiritual self quite well and I thank you for it.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Bill this is an easy time to forget that there is a real story to every story. I like listening to the stories now more than the results.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      10 months ago from london

      Lol.

      I want to be a servant, bro, not a convert! I can seem to be at times, but I'm only hard on those I care for and even so, Guruji still asks us to Love, not to change the world. That is God's domain.

      One unassailable truth about Spirituality, is that if an individual is not ready or receptive, then talking for 100 years will not change that person. We know this. Grace and God's hour must be there as well as receptivity. So please feel free to stop me if I become preachy. I wish to serve, not preach. Much Love.

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Manatita, that reference is spot on. And important for our world right now.

      Just you hurry up and keep converting people to let that heat be love.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      10 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ten second sound bites are used to gain perspective, as though the entirely of an action could be summarized that quickly, with all of its perplexities. We are a fast food nation, and that's how we love our news.....sigh!

    • Ericdierker profile imageAUTHOR

      Eric Dierker 

      10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      John I thank you. When I am writing for a living I always try to work that in. I like morass also.

      Strange how this needs to be looked at from both sides.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 

      10 months ago from london

      In the heat of the moment ... in the heat of the night -Sidney Poitier.

      Another way of looking at the argument. Cool!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      10 months ago from Queensland Australia

      It is too easy to jump to conclusions and/or act in the heat of the moment. You give good examples, Eric. This was very interesting read, and I learned a new word: “milieu.”

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