Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Brain: Where to from here?

Those who did not stay up most of the night, awakened to learn of perhaps the biggest upset since a Hollywood actor became president-elect. Each is now confronted with a series of choices, and the outcome of those personal decisions will impact not only the individual’s own future, personally and collectively, but also what happens to upcoming generations and the nation itself. None of us knows how this will play out. I know that it is what it is and my response will influence my brain-body health. In the words of Epictetus, 2nd century Greek philosopher: It’s not so much what happens that matters as what you think about what happens. I would add ‘and how you choose to respond to what is, because everything starts in the brain.’ Mine is distressed when humans act out their anger and frustration by hurting others and destroying property because in the end they damage themselves and their future. Anyone can complain and act out negatively. Society doesn’t like that behavior in children—how much less in adults—an unfortunate role-model for the young in how to approach disappointment and perceived failure. (Interestingly, the word about town is that this father might never have thrown his hat into the political ring or continued to pursue his goal if his daughter had not continually encouraged him to do so, which may represent female power behind a president.) Individuals will choose either to follow and replicate the dysfunction that was exhibited (inside and outside of both camps) or take a higher road. Either choice will impact brain-body health in differing ways. My brain chooses a response to this unexpected situation by exhibiting behaviors that reflect high levels of Emotional Intelligence—because that will impact my own brain-body health positively. More tomorrow. 

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