Kidding! Kinda. No, what I want is A COMPASSION EPIDEMIC. (But if you’re one of those who has to give a wrapped gift, he’ll do, I guess. Don’t forget air holes in the box!)
“That we have a whole region of our brain which is specialized to make us compassionate and tolerant, and less aggressive and fearful may, at first, seem astonishing, but its evolutionary value is obvious. Our whole social order depends on it…Who can deny that our world needs a little more playfulness, caressiveness, tenderness and compassion? Knowing that we have the right stuff already built into our brain anatomy ready to launch these attributes, which apparently lies dormant much of the time as demonstrated with neuroimagery studies, changes the whole perspective. The reason that there is not enough love in the world or that many people don’t seem to express it enough, may have nothing to do with some innate fault of human being. It may have more to do with the scientific fact that certain inherent neurological potential built into our central nervous systems was never trained and activated.
With the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, possibly bioengineered germs like Ebola and Lyme, mass extinctions of animals in many ecosystems (disappointed he fails to add the billions of slaughtered animals) and the deaths of perhaps 500 million humans in the last century of wars, there may never have been a better time in history to wake up and train a dormant part of our anatomy that is designed to make us more compassionate.
Further complicating the awakening of our dormant brain is research which suggests that the prefrontal cortex is one of the most vulnerable regions of the brain to concussions (violence; sports like American football), heavy metals like lead and mercury and other toxicities (ingested by or injected into food animals including fish), infections like Lyme disease and HIV, metabolic imbalances like hypoglycemia, allergies like gluten sensitivity and genetic vulnerabilities to all of these brain stressors. The skillful treatment of these causes of common medical and psychiatric disorders (the author also writes of mindfulness practice benefits for those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, citing Congressman Tim Ryan’s book, A Mindful Nation, that promotes the practice) guided by functional medicine genomic testing is not only important to get good outcomes in a medical practice, but also to strengthen prefrontal cortex activity to then be able to apply it the matters discussed here.
Exercising, consuming organic (vegan; because he didn’t I must add as it was after becoming a vegan that I felt inner peace and lack of fear I’ve never known–I mention this to other vegans and often hear, “Me too!”) food, drinking filtered water and getting good sleep are not associated with the culturing of compassion (studies of vegan men and women who experienced this “culturing compassion”–especially in men–exist), but they have neurological consequences for brain function and therefore, they most certainly are important factors.
All the stories of love and kindness running through our myths (look up the mythical Sophia, worshipped then erased as cultural changes brought to “life” mostly male, always frighteningly powerful gods with few redeeming qualities), culture, religions, art and literature are no longer just about someone’s philosophies and opinions. It’s now about hard, neurological, anatomical fact–it’s about what you physically are and what we are all intended to be.” (24-25)
(Excerpt from “Mindfulness and Compassion: Awakening the Dormant Parts of the Brain.” Dr. Chas Gant, M.D., Ph.D. in December 2104 Natural Awakenings)
(As usual, bold sections are my doing or thoughts)