My son-in-law shared advice he sometimes gives to others—and has to give himself from time to time as he functions as a stock broker. It is advice that make sense to me. “Don’t expect other people to think with your brain.”
I have thought about this a lot the past few days. We can guarantee that we will spend a lot of our life disappointed if we don’t follow this advice. After all, the way our brain works is what we know to be most familiar. The way we see things is surely the way things really are. Why wouldn’t others think with our brain?
But, while our brains all operate with the same electrical impulses and pathways, the way they are used is as various as the kinds of circumstances we have lived in and that we live in. When Deb and I were in Cody, Wyoming a couple of years ago, we stayed in a guest house on a ranch several miles outside the town. The closest neighbor was a couple of miles away. The sky was vast and explosive, roiling with wind swept clouds and crystal clear stars. Silence settled on the night as a warm blanket.
Spending time in that environment where a person spent a lot of time in their own company, helped me see how different the brain works than it does when I am in a swirling, chaotic, traffic clogged city. My brain feels different in the silence of wide open spaces than it does where the music blares on my neighbor’s deck while they are taking a midnight soak in the hot tub.
I understood how the rugged individualistic brain on the prairie was essential for survival. But, it doesn’t seem as virtuous when I am trying to sleep in a neighborhood where the actions of each impinge on the sleep of the other.
Not sure how much I can think with the brain of another, but I think I will be a whole lot happier if I don’t expect others to think with my brain.