Making the Time to Be Scared of More Interesting Things | [D]mergent




Make sure to read the other articles in this series on church organization: Killing Church Committees and Other Reflections on Church OrganizationKilling the Whispers and Other Reflections on Church Decision-Making,  Crack Addiction and Church Transformation,  On Neediness, Dating, and Congregational Transformation, and Death of a Salesman . . . Please?



The Chihuahua Brain Revisited


I was listening to Merlin Mann the other day (someone you should really check out if you haven’t yet). He mentioned that his big goal in life right now centers on “making the time to be scared of more interesting things.” I love that.


What does that mean?


We humans–having only recently (at least by the standards of evolutionary time) reached a period where we don’t constantly have to be on the lookout for saber-toothed tigers–still carry around in the oldest parts of our brains a vestigial, reactive fear mechanism. I’ve written about this before, calling it “the chihuahua brain.” Basically, we have highly sensitive threat sensing detectors that are tripped much more frequently than the true danger in our environment warrants. Fight or flight is a helpful response in the face of rampaging mastodons, but not so much when confronting a job interview or a contentious committee meeting.


When this fear manifests itself, it’s like a little siren in our systems that ceaselessly directs attention to the possible fall-out from facing the threat, leaving decision-making in a simple binary format–fight or flight.[1] When we’re afraid, creativity takes a vacation. Your imagination, when your body tells you it’s in danger, extends only to a preoccupation with what you taste like to something larger than you are.

Continue reading at  . . . Making the Time to Be Scared of More Interesting Things | [D]mergent.