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Of Breasts and Broccoli

I often tend to be a downer for people. I’m seen preaching things like ‘Social Responsibility’ and ‘Consciousness’ and I discourage things like too much TV and not getting to know your neighbors. This is a ‘downer’ because it is not as easy as watching someone put a ball in a basket or jump on huge balloons in a pond whilst wearing a bikini.

Challenges and reality shows aside, these topics can be separated into 2 groups: frivolous or serious. Although the guys on TV freak out on the sidelines when they ‘lose’ the ball, or corporations spend millions designing TV ads using cute girls to sell their web site, these things are actually frivolous. Whether they give some amount to charity or not, next to nothing is done to stop the 25,000 children that die each day from our neglect. But if you know me, you certainly know that and its the feeling most of us feel when we hear about ‘that’ which precipitates this topic.

Why are we attracted to the frivolous? Why does a child want the candy instead of the broccoli? Why do we want to indulge in inner impulses and compulsions over what we know to be ‘right’? Understand this point, and the mystery of discipline and human nature is forever solved. Here’s the secret: You have 3 Brains.

There is a basic one – called the ‘Reptilian Brian’ that handles heartbeat, breathing, bodily functions and basic survival like fight or flight. There’s a second brain which involves acting like a mammal that is appropriately called ‘The Mammalian Brain’. It involves making families, acting to defend one’s family and building strength and power like a lion on the hill. It helps with pride and survival as a mammal. It is emotional. The third brain is where we get concepts of fairness, creativity, and dreams of the future. The 3rd brain brings about plans and hopes and dreams and solutions to the human condition. Fear (1st Brain) may bring on prejudice and Pride (2nd) may bring on fences and walls, it is the 3rd Brain that has the compassion and love to tear them down and open one’s heart. It could be said that those who are driven by fear and greed are not in touch with their 3rd brain much at all. They usually don’t know they have one, so they are caught up in competitions and greed but they wear a nice suit and graduated with honors from some big, stupid, snobby university.

So, Lindsay Lohan intrigues us on a basic level about the challenges of a mammalian life full of big money, big breasts and big power. We learn and live vicariously through her. Our reptile brain wants to slow down and see the blood from an accident as a learning experience and more knowledge about death. We love to watch mindless TV programs to entertain us and keep us in a dream state so that we get a rest from unpleasant things like jobs and other necessities in this world.

So, when we hear about others in need, we ‘naturally’ avoid the topic. Only naturally if we are driven by our 1st and 2nd brains which never care about others unless they are our own kids/family. Some of us have connected the pleasure of helping others with a 2nd brain pleasure. But, most of us consider it to be a chore. So, BILLIONS is spent on sports and fashion and sitcoms and the stock market, while there aren’t enough pennies left over to save a child. Not enough time or energy left to meet the neighbors or help out with some local projects.

The dim-witted commoner needs so much pressure from a local problem before they respond. They will do almost anything to avoid problems in their neighborhood. In fact, millions walk by the starving daily on their way to work and never lift a single finger. But when it comes to picking out the outfit they’ll wear to an office party, they toil and fret.

Is this human nature? It certainly isn’t humane nature. It is more like human animal (1st and 2nd brain only) – not very evolved. We make choices each day what to do with our time and energy. When we were children, we had to learn responsibility. First for our bodies, then for our finances and other areas. We are still learning. Responsibility for our world is no less needed. When we look around, we see the seeds we’ve sown grow into mighty oaks like: oil crisis and ecological disaster and millions killed in frivolous wars.

You can’t deny we need to act with more responsibility as a race. We only need to pick up the responsibility and put down the TV remote a little more often. It’s our world. Its our choice.

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