Judging on the right side of the brain.

In neuroscience circles it’s definitely no longer fashionable to speak of the brain having a logical left side and a creative right side.

That’s a pity as it was a rather neat theory.

Scientists do agree that different parts of the brain process in different ways, but it’s nowhere near as neat as a simple left/right thing.

However when the idea was more in vogue, I remember one happy holiday in Greece working my way through a brilliant book by Betty Edwards, called Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain.

Originally published in 1979, it’s still available and still, in my (right) mind brilliant.

Rather neatly, Betty Edwards trained as both an artist and a psychologist.

To me, one of her most helpful insights was that when we attempt to draw a dog, for example, we need to shut off the bossy, logical side of our brain which tries to tell us it already knows what a dog looks like.

We should instead, the book suggests, intensely study the shape of the particular dog that’s in front of us, and carefully, gently capture its lines onto the paper.

Although I’m by no means doing justice to her philosophy, I wanted to bring it to your attention because I think all too often it’s possible to leap to conclusions over-hastily in life, using past experience to prejudice present circumstances.

We meet a new person, for example, and because they physically resemble someone we’ve disliked in the past, we paint this newcomer in a similar light.

Or someone pays us a compliment about the way we dress and we hark back to someone else who only ever seemed to do this as a sly way of having a dig about the way we usually looked.

Today, therefore, why don’t we both try to suspend our prejudicial thinking, approaching life in a more open-minded way?

Of course simply by saying this, I’m prejudging you to a certain extent.

Maybe you’re always, always open-minded?

If so, feel free to ignore me.

But if there’s even the tiniest bit of youu that has a tendency to jump to conclusions, maybe it will help to do a little less of that today.


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