Consecutive Days Riding: 39 Consecutive Days Blogging: 40
Today’s Mileage: 6 Total Trip Mileage: 335
One of the issues with riding a stationary bike, especially if you do it daily, is it can be boring. You can close your eyes and let the rhythmic movement of your legs and the sound of your breath lull you into a peaceful place. You might look out the window at nature and create a poem. But there is a third option: reading!
Last Sunday on the way to church my youngest son asked me: “Dad, how did you get to know so much?” Reading and asking questions was my answer. Yesterday on the NPR Radio Reader program, one of the story characters made the statement: “The way to get smart is to be interested in the world.” How true, I thought to myself. Read, ask questions and then read some more. I read an array of magazines, some spiritual, many scientific and occasionally an historical publication. Recently a scientific article brought a smile to my face and a sense of renewed hope. I strive on this journey to overcome my failings and weakness. I enjoy the discoveries along the way and I grow in the process. I share the gifts, insights and wisdom I receive on my journey with others through my blog, my teaching and my therapy.
The article in the September 2009 issue of Discover magazine by Kathleen McGowan was entitled: Seven Deadly Sins. The subheading noted: “Science is looking inside the brain to untangle the roots of our bad behavior!” The article begins with the question: Why does being bad feel so good? The authors reviewed recent findings connecting different regions of the brain to “human vices.” These vices included: Lust, Gluttony, Sloth, Pride, Greed, Envy, and Wrath. The article raised a question which psychologists and theologians grapple with on a regular basis. Do our moral failings represent poor choices on our part or internal biological impulses? The article points to an answer involving a complex set of interactions between our brains and our past and current environments. It is an important question when we consider that our society creates laws which legislate morality. And as therapists we often ponder the question of how to change “bad behavior.”
The article ended by noting that: “Historically, moralists have not paid much heed to the findings of science. However, they might want to pay attention to recent findings from modern neuroimaging It turns out that acting virtuously does not necessarily require a great deal of suffering, sacrifice and pain(i.e. wearing a hairshirt). In fact research suggests that: “your reward system fires off a lot more when giving than when you’re taking.” Yes, science is saying that “being good may be more fun than being wicked!”
But if this is the case, then how do we turn back the urge to follow the vices rather than chose the virtues? How do we make, “doing the right thing” the norm of our behavior rather than the exception? The answer may lie within the teachings of Reality and Behavior Therapy. More on that topic tomorrow!
Have a wonderful day and enjoy the scenery along your journey’s route!
Thanks to Discovery Magizine for the Images from the September Issue. The article in question is available online at http://www.discoverMagizine.com/2009/sep/