This space didn’t start out as a place for me to bang on about my (admittedly wondrous) opinions on books or music or art but that’s what it seems to be turning into and I’m not best pleased about that.
As much as I love all those things and as much as I love banging on about them it is time for me to pull up my big girl pants and write about something a little more meaningful (to me).
I believe that most of humanity sometimes go through periods of brain-jerkiness, I know I do. My mind rebels at the ideas we are fed, ideas about how to be ‘productive’ and how to fit into society. My brain wants to know WHY? Why do I have to be productive, who benefits from that, because it rarely feels like it’s me. My mind points out, rightly but painfully, that sometimes this society is pretty shitty and I really don’t want to associated with those parts of it, let alone fit it with them.
So I sit and stew in my jerkbrain juices and the world seems a little harsher and more unkind until the sun comes back out (metaphorically in the UK) and I can get back on with being a good little cog in the machine.
Something that helps is a wisdom I was taught by my grandma, which is that if you know the difference between right and wrong, and always do what’s right, then you will always be able to hold your head up.
She was right, but I also believe that she was looking at it from the other side to me. My grandma was a devout person and her faith got her through wars and poverty and this leads me to believe that she thought the second part of her tenet was the most difficult bit. Her religion told her what the differences between right and wrong were, the hard bit would be to always resist temptation and do the right thing.
I do not have that faith and I do not believe that actions are harder than thoughts.
I think that the first part is harder, deciding what is right and what is wrong, because to do that you have to engage your brain and some people seem to find that an impossible ask. You have to think things through and form opinions based on facts and evidence. You have to figure out for yourself what is right FOR YOU, otherwise all you are doing is parroting what authority figures, the media and the loudest people in the room have told you…and they do NOT have your best interests at heart.
Sitting with your own thoughts, when your mind is calm and collected as well as when your brain is being a jerk, is not easy and it is certainly not painless but it is what you must do in order to know the difference between your choices.
The point is, once you’ve done the brain work, the bit about doing what’s right is then second nature, not difficult. It becomes who you are, rather than a tough choice you must make. By deciding for yourself what is right that action becomes inevitable, because it is obvious that doing wrong will harm yourself as well as those around you.
Also – read lots of books and take lots of walks. The wisdom of others and the benefits of exercise can stop a jerk-brain in it’s tracks.