Journal of the People’s Pastor

“Writing The History I’ve Lived, Living The History I Write!”

DARFUR DIARY

PART II: SICKNESS, DEATH AND AGING

“A Consideration of Agelessness”


Moreover, longevity also applies to our brain. It may come as a shock to some of us that there is an ageless quality regarding our brain. We may learn slower, but the capacity for growth is still there. In the November 2007 issue of Prevention Magazine, there is an article entitled, “Miracle – Grow For Your Mind.” The author, Dr. Thomas Crook, PhD, discusses the brain’s craving for growth. He writes that there is an instinctive urge comparable to a thirst or hunger that the brain has for new experiences. He said, “Animal studies have shown us that the brain rewards novelty by releasing a pleasure-inducing chemical called Dopamine. Learning is reinforced because it’s essential to helping the brain grow and thrive.” He continued, “Here’s the best part: if you seek out new experiences throughout your life, your brain will keep growing – sprouting new cells (neutrons) and the branches between them (dendrites) – no matter your age. (Wow!) He went on to say, “Science has visual evidence of this process. Thanks to MRI technology, we can see learning centers in the human brain light up and witness the birth of neutral paths when we try something new. These signs of activity and growth are visible even in the elderly.” Less we should become immobilized by the challenge of doing new things, Dr. Crook says, that the pursuit of novelty or newness need not be dramatic or monumental. Under the heading entitled, Put a New Spin on Old Routines; Dr. Crook lists some simple, at hand things, we can do:

Brush your teeth using the opposite hand. (My response – the Dr assume that we have teeth. He may mean, “if we do not have teeth make the brushing motion anyway.”)
Reverse your usual walking, running, or biking route.
Trade in your favorite game. If you love crosswords or Sudoku puzzles, or, learn to play one of the dozen of brain training games on your computer.
Eat at an ethnic restaurant.
Rearrange your furniture.
Start planning to visit a new place this weekend, even if it is just in the next county.
Grab that recipe you clipped and head to a different grocery store to shop for ingredients.

While Dr. Crook does not include the following in his list of new things to do, it is, however, in the same vain that he says, “To help your brain strive, speak to people outside your normal social circle and listen for fresh perspectives on life.”

Finally, Dr. Crook concludes, “If you do even a few of these things in a single day, you will be amazed at how all this new found knowledge enriches your life.”

I am sure we all remember how curious we were when we were children. We wanted to know everything. We had an endless stream of questions. As we grew older, our curiosity dwindled and or disappeared. We blamed it on aging. How wrong we were. We must recapture the joy and excitement of learning. Curiosity was/is a God-given exercise to enable us to remain alert and sharp, so as to enjoy life while we are on earth.

There is a Bible verse that we should internalize and repeat to ourselves often. “I would above all that you may prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers.” We see again God’s intention for our lives. Prospering, as here used in the scripture, is not confined to material stuff. But includes all that makes life meaningful, purposeful and enjoyable. And the reference to health includes body, mind and spirit.

Upcoming Events

Attend the Timbuktu Learning Center’s weekly Thursday night forums 7pm to 9pm held at the House of the Lord Church.

We will be hosting a Tribute to Brother Elombe Brath, on Sunday, December 9, 5pm, at the House of the Lord Church.

On Thursday, December 13, 2007, 7pm at the House of the Lord Church, Rev. Daughtry will be making a report to the community on his trip to Sudan at the Timbuktu Learning Center.

Attend NRLAA’s monthly forum Focus on Africa the 2nd Saturday from 2pm to 4pm.
Organizing Meetings regarding Darfur every Thursday - 12noon @ the House of the Lord Church
Keep abreast of our Darfurian activities by checking our web page @ www.holnj.org.
For further Information on all events, contact The House of the Lord Church @ (718) 596-1991.