Can we learn feelings just by imitating them?
There are some innate feelings as love, hate, sadness, and so on. Other feelings are learned from society: the feelings of honor, respect, courage, etc. Moreover, we learn from others the adequate manners of living the innate feelings.
Certainly, the most popular way of learning feelings is to imitate how other persons express them.
For doing this, we primarily use our eyes. Though the clearest manifestation of feelings is to speak about them, we commonly tell stories about our particular circumstances which caused our feelings. Almost nobody speaks about their general meaning, so that we learn about them by listening to others’ words.
Therefore, we might say that we learn a little from others. However, if we learn, for instance, just a gesture of love after we saw it, it is sufficient for starting from its use a long story of love. Because it is a constant property of feelings to cause a series of events, even if they are not really understood or explained.
But when the feelings disappear, we often find them as shallow as any other imitation. As a proof, we may invoke the common practice of beginning so easily a new feeling. If it is a lasting feeling which is still present after its social end (for instance, the end of a love affair, the lost opportunity for showing our courage or honor), its new life in the loneliness of the individual is always deeper than before. We even might say that it is a new feeling than the previous which we have only imitated.