Since I finished the novel I’d been writing and it’s now out of my hands (hopefully being read out there, somewhere!) I’m doing what I always do while deciding what I want to write next—reading. A lot.
I’m reading for pleasure, for inspiration, for research (both projects I’m considering will take a good deal of research) and, as a book reviewer for BookBrowse, reading for work.
I just finished a book that fulfills all of these categories—Diane Ackerman’s fascinating, exciting and brilliant The Human Age. The book and the review don’t come out until mid-September, so I won’t give it away with spoilers, but let me tell you, I think EVERYONE is going to want to read this. (Hey, it’s all about US—humans—who doesn’t want to read about themselves?)
But, I am going to briefly talk about one of the many, many issues brought up in the book~
|GENOME OF ONE MARINE |
Ackerman says, that thanks to our modern technology “…the idea of cartography no longer applies only to landforms. We’ve mapped (everything from) galaxies and genomes…”
And then she goes on to talk about a new field called ‘interpersonal neurobiology.’ Only recently have scientists discovered that our human brains rewire themselves, create a new interior map, EVERYDAY. (Wow! Way to go, brain!) And that all of our experiences, but especially our relationships, effect change in the brain. On a daily basis. Of course, it should be no surprise that the relationships that have the biggest effect on our brains are our closest, most intimate relationships.
Scans show that our brains register traumatic physical pain in the same way and place they do grief, loss of love, rejection, bullying, and emotional abuse. Harsh words literally can create the same physical effect as a violent punch to the gut.
These scans also show that holding hands with a trusted, loving partner or friend significantly reduces the sensation of an administered physical pain, like an electric shock. It can also lower blood pressure and reduce anxiety.
So the question is, once this knowledge filters through the fabric of our social lives, will we behave better? Will we be kinder, more careful with our actions and words, knowing that anger, exclusion and rejection have the same effect as hitting someone in the face? I’m going to hope for a big yes.
Here’s to more handholding~
Take Good Care,