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Is your brain in charge of you? — Say WHAT?

My Little Men

Strange question, huh?  Here’s the story…

My son and his family were visiting the week of Easter.  I have two “little men”, ages 2 and 4.   Since they were leaving the next morning, I was packing in all the time I could with both of them.  I had read Jonathan, age 4, our favorite story, and I was just enjoying talking with him before he drifted off to sleep.  This is a special time, right before he literally passes out because he’s so wide open all day long.  Important conversation happens in these moments when he’s too tired to do anything but chat.  There was a lull.  Then, he looked right into my eyes and asked, “Meemaw, is your brain in charge of you?”

Hhhmmmm…I had to think about that.  “Well, I said after some reflection, “I guess it is.”  He said very seriously, “Well, not me…I am in charge of my brain.”  On that note, he fell fast asleep, leaving a very perplexed grandmother wide awake.

After some discussion with his father, I discovered the origin of that conversation.  Seems that when Jonathan was confronted for doing something he shouldn’t, he would answer, “I’m sorry Daddy, but I didn’t do it, my brain told me to.”   His father, a very wise man, told him that his brain was not in charge, but that HE was in charge of his brain.  Apparently Jonathan remembered and was just testing the theory on unsuspecting Grandma.

In thinking about it, I think I answered wrong, but Jonathan had it right.  And in adult language, what he was really saying was that we are responsible for our own actions.  We are not to be like ships tossed by the wind, or victims of circumstances.  Certainly we all have obstacles to overcome, and sometimes circumstances are beyond our control.  Our response is NEVER beyond our control.  After all, WE are in charge of our brains.

Thanks, Jonathan! (on the right)