Saturday, May 1, 2010

Not-So Relevant to the Kentucky Derby . . .

The following quote is from a book I'm currently reading about our survival skills and instincts, and the intangible factors that influence how we react in life-altering situations. Truthfully, it has little to do with today's Kentucky Derby, but the annual hoopla made me recall this excerpt including an inpsiring metaphor of how the brain and body, reason and emotion, communicate under pressure.

The human organism, then, is like a jockey on a thoroughbred in the gate. He's a small man and it's a big horse, and if it decides to get excited in that small metal cage, the jockey is going to get mangled, possibly killed. So he takes care to be gentle. The jockey is reason and the horse is emotion, a complex of systems bred over eons of evolution and shaped by experience, which exist for your survival. They are so powerful, they can make you do things you'd never think you'd do, and they can allow you to do things you'd never believe yourself capable of doing. The jockey can't win without the horse, and the horse can't race alone. In the gate, they are two, and it's dangerous. But when they run, they are one, and it's positively godly.

-Laurence Gonzales, Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why

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