In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the dangers of the human brain – the way we learn, connect and understand other people, and why you need to be very careful.
First a quick update:
**** “Abercrombie & Fitch selling push-up, padded bikini tops to 8-year-old girls” – Yes, Abercrombie & Fitch is selling padded, bikini tops for girls as young as age 8. It’s another example of the sexualization of young girls. Are we sexualizing young girls to get the attention of men or to encourage women to use their daughters to compensate for their own lack of sexual appeal by living vicariously through their daughter? Is this the extreme extension of the beauty-pageant mother who now seeks to make up for what she can never be? Read my thoughts and insights on my blog: www.patrickwanis.com/blog or directly at:
Now, let’s talk about the dangers of our brain – the way we learn, connect and understand other people and what the danger is for us because of that.
In 1991, in Parma, Italy, a group of neuroscientists stumbled onto an amazing discovery when by sheer accident, they noticed that when a monkey saw a human reaching for food, it would trigger in the monkey’s brain the same response as if the monkey was reaching for the food. In other words, the monkey was feeling the action made by the human even when the monkey wasn’t actually making the action. The scientists labeled this “mirror neurons” and with further research, in the next decade, they discovered that the human brain has multiple and more complex neuron systems. And according to Dr. Giacomo Rizzolatti who led the initial research “Mirror neurons allow us to grasp the minds of others not through conceptual reasoning but through direct simulation. By feeling, not by thinking.”
What that simply means is that we don’t use logic to understand, interpret or predict other people’s actions – we use feelings – we feel their action.
Have you ever watched a horror movie and felt the fear of the person in the movie running and screaming? Have you ever watched a film where you see a hairy spider slowly crawling up someone’s leg? Did you feel it as if it were happening to you, or even feel it happening right now? Have you ever watched a funny home video where someone has an accident and stubs their toe and you suddenly reacted as if you were feeling the pain, too? Or perhaps, you were next to a child crying and you felt his or her pain, and you began to cry as well.
The reason we feel pain, pride, disgust, empathy, sadness, excitement or joy from watching someone else in an action involving that corresponding emotion is because we simulate that action in our mind, along with the intention and emotion. This explains why laughter, smiling or even yawning can be so contagious and how we feel empathy and compassion for other people.