I heard a segment on NPR recently asking whether people who were poor made less intelligent decisions. They explained a couple of experiments that were done to test this. The conclusion was that poverty caused people to make poorer decisions and the way they explained this was using “bandwidth”. That we have so much bandwidth in our brains and when we are poor a great deal of that is taken up with those concerns, leaving much less available for other things.
I find this idea quite useful. The thought that there is so much bandwidth in my brain and how much of it is available? I could say that when I am in a calm peaceful state I make my best decisions because I have a lot of bandwidth working for me. Or I could say part of the reason I didn’t want to be a full-time teacher is that it took up too much bandwidth, all of the time, there were other things I needed space for, even if I did not yet have a name for them.
As I was biking to yoga class today thinking about all this I wondered, “What if all of my bandwidth was available for this bike ride? Instead of mulling over these thoughts – all there was was colors on a tree, the air on my face, my legs churning?”
And what if we have energetic bandwidths as well? I live about 3 miles from where I do yoga. Today was cloudy, damp, cool but not cold and a likelihood of rain. Some days I wouldn’t want to bike. I would use these factors as an excuse. Today I didn’t mind at all. What is the difference? Where did that energetic bandwidth come from? And what can I do to protect it and sustain it?
The last two books I’ve read both have been influences from my brother. I picked them up at the library for him and then wanted to read them myself. The first book was Barbara Kingsolver’s Flight Behavior. It is an engaging novel with a sobering message. And though I no longer know what to make of that thing we call God or life force or… I do know that someone seems to have set me up here. Because the book I’m reading now is the perfect antidote to the reality of Kingsolver. It is called The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi by Elif Shafak. I am enjoying this book so much that two nights ago after I woke up I realized in my DREAM I was telling a group of people why it was so good (in a completely accurate manner). Also the past two days when my alarm went off, instead of snuggling in the dark for a while, I immediately turned on my bed lamp and began to read. No problem getting up for now!
It surprised me that my brother would be interested in such a novel. He explained it had been recommended by The Economist. The Economist is recommending heart opening, spiritual, wise literature! Yeah! Let’s go humanity! I seriously was a bit down on humanity but then Elif Shafak and Rumi come to the rescue!
So these were some thoughts I needed to explore today, thanks for giving me a space and audience to share them.