A basket of rolls

The amygdala is thought to be the part of the brain that controls empathy. The bigger the amygdala you have the more compassion towards others you have. The smaller…

To be enlightened is to be thoughtful before action.

Balanced. To weigh both sides before making a decision.

The Fight or flight response. The impulse you have in the moment of crisis.

In my youth, I was a waiter. After a year of waitering I was still asked by many customers “You are new at this, aren’t you?”. One of the great lessons I learned, other than I was a horrible waiter, was what to do when you don’t know what to do. The chef/owner advised me to watch for fellow waiters/waitresses who are just standing around in a haze. “They are probably overwhelmed” he said. “When you see this, tell them to bring a basket of rolls to a table. That will snap them out of it”.

We now say “fight or flight or freeze”. In any profession, but especially food service, there are times of overwhelming stress. The freeze option, I believe, is the most common default reaction we have in most situations. We compound the situation by trying to be thoughtful and rational about what is happening. We over-think what is happening. “Paralysis by Analysis”. A fancy phrase for “I don’t know what to do, so let me think about it”. What is really happening in a lot of cases is “I don’t want to make the tough decision”.

The events unfolding in Ukraine are horrific. In my generation I have not experienced such blatant and offensive actions, to the point of “I don’t believe what is happening”. In the news we see snippets of light-hearted stories like “eat these seeds so flowers will bloom when you are dead and berried here” “Go f### yourself” We highlight these stories because the truth is too hard to accept. This is an atrocity and we don’t know how to handle it. We are frozen.

On a global level we need to act. We can’t impose “policies and procedures”. Every day that goes by … people die. The time to FIGHT is now. Not impose sanctions.

On an individual level, lets talk to each other. Help a friend of a friend. Whether they are Russian or Ukrainian. Anyone who is struggling. Do something. Write a song. Write a story. Talk. Sing. Dance. Just do something. Get out of the house. Talk to your neighbor. A basket of rolls goes a long ways.

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