Monthly Archives: July 2013

Sharin the Journey: A Note from the Director

Sometimes, as a person shares an insight or gives an explanation they will reassure those listening…”Hey this isn’t brain science.”  This comment is meant to reassure the listeners that they are capable of grasping what is being shared.  Today, as I write this I can guarantee you will “get it.”  In fact, you were wonderfully created to be able to fully enjoy what I’m about to share and guess what it is brain science.

This past weekend was the Outagamie County Fair.  My husband and I went to enjoy the sights and sounds plus take in the concert.  Before the concert, a young girl was introduced who only a month ago had lost her mom to cancer.  The young girl was a 4H member who was hoping to raise a $1000.00 from the sale of her pig in order to donate the money to cancer research in her mother’s memory.  Her efforts started out with disappointment when her pig did not win a prize, after all she was hoping that a “blue ribbon” pig would help her reach her goal.  Still determined to give it her best shot, she took her turn at the livestock auction.  The story of her mom’s passing and her goal to raise money for cancer research got out to those who had gathered for the bidding.  The bidding started and before too long thanks to a local business the pig sold for not $1000.00 but over $5000.00.  The young girl was so excited….but she did not expect what happened next.  The gentleman representing the business told her to keep the money for cancer research and he gave her back the pig so she could auction it again.  She was given the go ahead, so she let her pig be auctioned again.  This time the pig sold for over $3000.00.  Again the purchaser told the young girl…go ahead…take the money…keep the pig and auction it again.  The young girl explained to the crowd that by this time she was crying and very confused.  “I wasn’t sure what was happening.”  The pig was again put up for auction.  When the wonderful show of support for this young girl and the dream she had was over — just under $20,000.00 — had been raised for her to give to cancer research in memory of her mother.   The cheers erupted from the crowd gathered in the grandstands…

What are you feeling right now?  Maybe you have a few goosebumps, a lump in your throat, a smile on your face, or a sense of awe at the courage of one young girl and the beautiful response by her community to demonstrate support.  Whatever you are feeling…it is brain science.  We were created with this specific neuron that allows us to feel connected to others just by seeing or hearing their story.  In some cases we experience horror at someone’s pain such as in response to tornado destruction or random shootings.  In this case, thanks to our brain science we can celebrate the joy of a dream fulfilled.

What in our brain/body makes this possible?  It’s our mirror neurons and our Vagus nerve.  The vagus nerve has several jobs including being our compassion nerve.  Truth is we were not hardwired to operate under “survival of the fittest” but rather as “cooperation of the community.”  So today you are invited to activate a little brain science and share this story with someone in order to bring a spark to their day and celebrate the incredible oneness we share with each other.

While I’m thinking about it…”Lord here’s to one mom who — although in too short a time — raised a daughter who is magnificent.  May this mom be blessed in Your presence.”  

Book Nook

We invite you to add these two SUE’s to your summer reading list.  Suzanne Staples and Sue Grafton.

Shabanu and Haveli are both wonderful reads by Suzanne Staples.  I loved every moment of each of these books.  If you want to be captured by an author…DO check both of these books out.

If a mystery is what you are looking for this summer, V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton is the book for you.  Sue Grafton is working her way through the ABC’s.  She is a fun read and keeps you waiting for the next in her series.