small pieces of joy

pieces of joy in each day

middle brain?

on January 14, 2010

Hello wonderful people. I don’t really know if anyone reads this but I thought I’d write down a few things that I’ve been reflecting on today.

First off today was quite insane. We had a shortened schedule for classes today which automatically causes pre-pubescent kids to go haywire all day. “What? 7th hour comes after 4th hour? When are we eating lunch? Are we going home early?” Yeah. No wonder I go home exhausted every day. Anyway, so we had the short schedule so we could have an assembly at the end of the day to listen to a speaker about bullying. How many speakers can you have that tell you that bullying is bad, it hurts people’s feelings, yadda yadda. So I went into this assembly thinking I would grade papers and daydream. wrong. This guy was funny and well rehearsed…unlike many speakers we have had before. I really liked what he said to these middle schoolers.

He talked about the Disney movie Beauty and the Beast. He focused on the part where Gaston gets the whole town to believe they should kill the beast. “We don’t like what we don’t understand” was a quote from this scene. Interesting. And then they decide they don’t like this “thing” and that they should kill it. It doesn’t deserve to live. Pretty powerful stuff for a kids movie. He then challenged the kids to think about a quote from Mother Teresa. “Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier.” And he said to imagine what people will think of when they look back at your picture in the yearbook in 40 years. What would you want them to say?

I then went to a talk tonight from a woman speaking about her experience of having an abortion. What a brave woman to stand up in front of strangers and admit to an abortion and then tell about it! She discussed her fear and reasons for ending the pregnancy and about how she watched the little baby inside her not be alive anymore. Her pain lasted long after the procedure, physically and emotionally. The ripples affected her husband and her children, even now, 30 years after it happened. She explained how pro-choice gives the illusion of choice, but really you only have one choice in that–to end a child’s life. There are many many choices when you choose to have the child. It was just incredible to hear her speak about the pain, but more importantly about the healing and the mercy she felt after working through those hurts. It pains me to think about how many women out there are living with the pain and suffering this woman did, but without the healing. Without knowing that there is help and mercy and forgiveness in order to move on with life. Wow.

Within both of these topics I have seen a few common themes. One was mentioned by the woman tonight discussing the higher brain and lower brain. The lower brain takes over in situations like both of these when your higher brain knows better and knows what is right, but the lower brain somehow prevails. What influences us to not listen to our higher knowledge, the part that helps us make the right decisions? Why don’t we always use the higher brain?

I am thankful that these two people shared their life’s experiences with me today. It is easy to go through each day blindly and mindlessly, but talks like today remind me there is more to life than sitting at a desk and going to sleep.

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