Do you know what it’s like to go through school with a fucking brain injury?
I don’t know how many times I have to tell people on Technical Support that I’m desperately trying (and failing) to keep it together, because I realize that I shouldn’t use expletives. However, I will whenever I lose patience with the technology, and even though I remind some people that I am not angry at them, it’s like I’m talking to my armpit-I mean, I might as just as well.
It is the frontal lobes which govern our ability to maintain self-control, and this becomes difficult when they are damaged-if not completely impossible.
Study the case of Phineas Gage, a railroad foreman in California in 1848. This easy-going man became a profane alcoholic who could not hold down a job after the blast, in which steel flew through his brain and landed eleven feet behind him.
The worst thing about the entire thing is that he remained conscious throughout the event.
The community in Phineas which lived realized that he had undergone profound change, but they didn’t blame him for his behavior. They said that he wasn’t himself-which he wasn’t.
Since Gage’s death in 1860, neuropsychologists have studied his brain and learned how it controls behaviors-even those of which we try to abstain from. This is one of the reasons why spanking a child simply does no good, and only discourages the child from improving upon their behavior.
Do I like getting angry and pounding the desk when technology fails to work? No. I try to leave the room and diffuse-but it’s never in time.
This is where I laugh at Solomon’s writings in the Book of Proverbs, because he tells you to stay away from those who are easily angered in Proverbs 22:24. That ignorant suggestion only makes things worse, because one understanding person could prevent another Las Vegas or Columbine.
I warn people ahead of time what’s in store when I’m in a bind, because it has come to my realization that Americans have become less tolerant of others in the past year. How did that happen? I think it had something to do with the 21st Century version of Know-Nothings installing someone who makes of people with disabilities into the White House.