My ten-year-old asked me the other day, “What is more important, the brain or the heart?” That is a good question my son, on so many levels. Of course as a matter of function you can be brain dead, but still be alive, but we cannot go on without a beating heart.
On a decision making level do you follow your head or your heart? Both have their merits and blind spots. As we went through the pros and cons, he concluded the heart was more important, “But the brain is so important too,” I tell him. “It is where we do our critical thinking, rationalize our emotions, the command center for our body and thoughts, and where we process the world around us and our meaning in it.
That same week articles started to come in with an obvious connection. The brain, and thus the theme of this issue was clear.
How a brain develops is crucial in the first few years of a human’s life (see page 4), including in the womb (see page 18) and it can set the foundation for future adult success. The brain does not come with a written script on how it will function, but can be stimulated and crafted through taking classes (see page 16), childhood experiences (see page 21) and can even be healed of emotional trauma by rewiring (see page 8).
We can nourish our brains by the food we eat (see page 10) and how we maintain our bodies (see page 12). We can be smart about how we do things; like learning ways to pay off the mortgage earlier (see page 29), abstracting water from the air around us to drink (see page 6) and protecting our environment (see page 7). I always tell my boys, “We just need to be smarter than the problem.”
We are all in awe of Amanda surviving her ordeal of being lost in the forest for over two weeks. She was found a few days before this issue went to print. I had previously reached out to my friends during the search and rescue stage, to write an article about who Amanda was, so we could connect with this missing Maui woman. Her actions in survival speak as loud as their words about what kind of person she is (see page 27). I am so happy this issue can honor her alive! We truly do have an amazing community that never gave up. Now we need to turn our attention and find Kekai Mina. He went missing while on a hike up Kailau Ridge on May 20. If you can help in any way please go to the Facebook group ‘Bring Kekai Home’ and let them know how you can support the efforts.
Image Credit: Jess Johnson Photography