Popular psychology describes the left side of the brain as logical/analytic and the right side as emotional /creative. This dichotomy in anatomy and function is not supported by modern neuroscience, but I can’t resist using it since I want to talk about how my left brain and right brain have been going at each other this week.
My son will be spending his second year out west fighting wild fires. Indeed, this week he began his new job as a member of a helicopter attack crew that will be exploring a new approach to departing the helicopter quickly called a “Rope Assisted Delivery System”. My left brain tells me my son has trained carefully for his job, that he is very cautious by nature, and that any new technology with the acronym “RADS” must be really cool and safe. My right brain has a very different response. If we stick to the emotional/creative aspects of the right brain, my reaction to my son’s job is best illustrated by the Munch painting “The Scream.” I am not yet panicked, so round 1 goes to left brain.
In my job, I frequently consider results of laboratory experiments and clinical trials, review blood counts, and determine which cancer therapy to recommend and at what doses– all very left brain activities. This week, I was uplifted by participating in the opening of a display of photographs taken by the father of a young man who was treated for leukemia at our cancer center. These photographs do a wonderful job of illustrating the personal side of cancer, and how important family, faith and friends are to healing and recovery (see https://www.uihealthcare.org/noah/). I found myself with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes as I watched the video of his story. Round 2 goes to the right brain.
My only daughter is getting married in a few days. Left brain wrote the check for the wedding dress. However, I am sitting here thinking about the father daughter dance.
Talk about no contest.
Winner and this week’s champion – right brain.