16 December 2012

What If All of Us Squares Changed Our Focus?

Have I ever told you about a workshop I attended during which I discovered I'm a complete and utter square? It was a presentation on the latest brain research and learning styles. The brain's synapses fire at a typical speed, but each of us has a quadrant that is much more efficient. Turns out I'm a "left-basal" (that's the quadrant in which my synapses fire at 400 miles per hour) so, in essence, a square. 

We squares are the kind of people who start making Five Year Plans when we're still teenagers. Who fit into the school system because we "get" the systems of reading and writing. We're punctual and we do our homework. We become writers and editors and teachers. (Oh man, I was so predictable!) We're the planners, the organizers. In short, we're the ones who keep the world humming along, more or less on time.

SIDE BAR: I don't want anyone to feel left out, so here are the other personality types/learning styles:

  • left-frontal (the triangle): the controllers, the CEOs, the bossy pants, the people who make sure that other people get things done
  • right-basal (the circle): the harmonizers, the supporters, the people who nurture others and keep the peace
  • right-frontal (the squiggle): the visualizers, the artists, the creative ones, the dyslexics (or "eugraphics" - the term I coined to positively describe people who think in images and for whom the arbitrariness of alphabets doesn't make natural sense)


Okay, so where am I going with this? Let me tell you. I stumbled upon a blog post this morning about the very common spelling mistake "alot" (as in, I stumble upon alot of things on the internet). The correct spelling is two words: a lot. A left-basal square is going to notice booboos like that. We correct grammatical errors on TV (out loud, to our family's chagrin), and point out typos on restaurant menus. We can't help ourselves. It's a curse (people call us Grammar Fascists and Spelling Nazis), except when it's not. (You know, like when someone needs something edited and they can't spell to save their lives.)

Well, here's the thing. Despite the fact that the biosphere is going to hell in a handbasket and the American drought has continued into December (including in Alaska and Hawaii!), the blogosphere is acting as though nothing's wrong, nothing's different, nothing's changed. On the one hand, I write these blog posts and do my activism and watch my husband do all his climate change work, and still there are only 23 people in the world who care. (Okay, it might be up to 27 by now.) 

On the other hand, that blog post on the misspelled "alot" got — wait for it — 784 comments!! Isn't that astounding? That 784 people would care enough about the spelling of "a lot" that they took the time to write and post a comment?

It's obvious to me that all these people (except one, who complained) are squares. (Nobody else gives a damn about spelling.) So what if we could recruit even a fraction of the squares in the world to help counter the climate change deniers and skeptics in the blogosphere? 

They, like I have, could learn the science of global warming and climate change. At least enough to respond to the trolls. Or perhaps these squares could serve as the scribes of old, helping all the triangles and squiggles get legible and readable letters written to their elected officials.

I'll admit it. It's depressing. I don't exactly begrudge that blogger her 784 commenters (imagine how many actual readers that means), I just wish they could all find the time to comment on important stuff, too, like the global climate change emergency, which is threatening the viability of there/they're/their children's future, and is already impacting hour/our generation's food security, two/to/too.

The Street Scribe, by Carlo Naya


  1. I believe the Triangle,Circle,Squiggle and Square are all apart of us to some degree. However we identify, we are all more connected than we realize...and the more connected we are in our heart mind the more we resonate with all our parts. Brain chemistry is not deterministic, it is a consequence of our state of being...we are fluid energetic beings in a state of transformation, individually and in larger systems to which we belong. Perhaps coming from my right-frontal brain, I imagine a united harmonic wave rising to bring solutions to the problem of climate change, moving hearts into action. Left basal brain activity is an awesome load of responsibility where we perhaps unload whatever feels to big for our dreamy emotional selves. Our left brain, and even circles and squiggles have this part, sounds way too over burdened...we should teach more Art and Music, nature and empathy in our schools...as creative ways to move and be in the world. We are compassionate with animals, children, our flower beds...now we must see that we are -every last brain cell - is - deeply connected to all of life. No more left vs right brain definitions are needed when we strive for harmony and to see our similarities and sameness. I believe our left sided brain needs to be more compassionate to the right side where it will find a courageous vision, faith and trust. It is our intuitive squiggly part of the brain that draws children holding hands under a happy sun and rainbow of possibilities.

  2. Hear, hear! (And see, smell, taste, touch, feel, intuit, etc.)


I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?