Our basic instincts haven’t had a chance to catch up with the modern world. There are many things we are forced to do in our own best interests that go against every fiber of our being, like turning into a skid when driving on a slippery surface.
When the flight attendant does the safety speech and gets to the part about oxygen masks and says, “If you are traveling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person.” I always think, “Yeah, right. That’s gonna happen.” I mean, it makes sense when everything is calm, cool, and under control, but what parent isn’t instinctively going to go for their child’s mask first?
Then there are relationships. I stayed in a 16 year relationship that made me miserable because it felt safer than taking the risk of spending the rest of my life all alone. Back when women had to depend on men for their very survival, this was a logical choice, but in this modern era it was just a 16 year waste of my precious time.
Road rage, I’m convinced, is simply a misdirected reaction to being chased by some ancient saber-toothed tiger. I mean, honestly, blowing your stack because you’re stuck in traffic is a little over the top, don’t you think?
And what must the most ancient part of your brain think when we actually SEEK fear? When we ride a roller coaster, for example, it must feel like we are attacking ourselves on the most basic level. Our hippocampi must want to run for the nearest exit.
In this modern world, full of school shootings and traffic jams and artificial anxieties, it is very important to sit yourself down every now and then and seek a little bit of perspective. It’s going to be all right. It really is.