What keeps people down? Why do some people fare better while others struggle? Why do some groups of people, generally, do better than others? Is it some magical privilege bestowed on one group at the expense of all others? It is one group keeping the others down?
Let’s put all that to rest.
The problem is not all about our environment. Environment is the fuel to the fire. However, the problem lies in our brain and how all of our brains work regardless of skin color, ethnicity or any other factor.
Our brain is not a single entity. We have the upper cortex which controls our higher brain function that gives us the ability to think, use reason and learn. Deep within our lower cortex is a small section about the size of an acorn that is our primitive brain. It deals solely on our most basic survival instincts. It hs no ability to think, and it does not reason; it has no higher brain function at all. It is the part of our brain that reminds us when we need to eat, breath, and gives us a kick of adrenalin when we are in danger or sense danger. It controls our fight or flight reflex.
When we are angry, offended, raged, outraged, fearful, anxious or threatened our primitive brain activates and in turn inhibits our higher brain function. It diminishes our ability to reason, use logic, and learn. People who are in a constant state of fear or rage or have a hair trigger sense of offense live in nearly a constant state of fight or flight and this keeps their primitive brain active which in turn inhibits their ability to use higher brain functions.
Even the most intelligent people lose their capacity to think rationally or cognitively when their primitive brain takes over. We have seen even Harvard and Yale educated students and even faculty reduced to mob like behavior lacking all of their higher brain function while in this state.
We simply cannot use both our cognitive ability and our survival instinct at the same time. However, there lies the answer. Our primitive brain inhibits our higher brain function, but our higher brain function also inhibits our primitive brain. In other words, when we apply reason and logic and use our higher brain function it turns off our fight or flight reflex and allows for an environment of learning, reason and higher cognitive thinking. That, in turn, leads to a happier, healthier, anxiety free, and a more prosperous life. We progress when we are not spending the bulk of our energy in survival mode.
As a society, we are doing it all wrong. We are feeding our primitive brain by encouraging rage, resentment, distrust, and division. Even the way we attempt to combat these things only causes more and perpetuates it. We call people racists and haters. We call people privileged or assign blame instead of using our higher brain faculties to solve problems. The answer is to appeal to reason instead of anger and to retrain our brain to not reflexively go into a state of fight or flight unless we truly are in danger. We need not listen to those who fan the flames because they are keeping people from using their higher brain function and realizing their potential. It is they who keep people in continuous survival mode and in a constant state of anger, rage, fear, resentment, and hopelessness instead of encouraging people to use their natural cognitive ability to solve problems and use critical thinking skills and react to their environment in an intelligent and deliberate manner. If this happened, you would see the world change for the better and unshackle people from a life of constant stress, fear, rage, resentment, hopelessness, and hate.
Some call that a privilege, but no. It is everyone’s birthright.