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Letter: Our need for 'hope' draws many to Obama
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    Clinton, McCain and Kathryn Lopez have called the message of Barack Obama empty words and gimmicks. The enthusiasm flaming up in response to Obama's speeches is symptomatic of a basic biological need of the human brain. At birth our brains have 100 billion neurons which are not connected up in a completely organized way.
    The first three years of our lives, our brains are growing 15,000 synapses and dendrites per neuron to connect up those 100 billion "microprocessors" into an organized system to effectively statistically analyze all the sensory input coming in from the outside world through our senses (smell, taste, touch, sight, hearing). The analysis our brains are embracing is the challenge of surviving — learning and adapting in order to survive. The fuel for this process is the brain perceiving loving reception and positive emotional input which promotes positive self-value.
    If the brain receives enough of feeling lovingly received and positive emotional input, the brain grows the synapses and dendrites productively connecting up the neurons; and the child survives and moves toward living fully.
    Genetically built-into the brain is the goal to grow toward completion — balanced among its inner systems of emotion, cognition and motivation. If the growing child-brain does not receive enough feeling lovingly received and positive emotional input promoting self-value, the neurons begin dying. If enough die, the M.D. writes on the death certificate "failure to thrive". The child's brain needs this feeling of loving reception and positive emotional input from his/her mother and father or substitutes. The brain perceives this need. It is a need of life-and-death proportions. hope is the empowering feeling which flows from a brain perceiving that it is growing toward completion-fulfillment. Our brains generate beliefs about heaven and paradise as mythical expressions of this need and goal to reach completion-fulfillment. Since most of this critically needed loving reception and positive emotional input which fuels the brain has to come from the outside (from mother and father) and cannot be generated solely fro within, and since none of us receive enough of it, we are all walking around with malnourished brains. The feeling clues about this lack of emotional nourishment is frustration — a mixture of pain and anger. When frustration reaches a critical point, the brain can motivate killer behavior. People fainting at Obama's rallies are signs of how desperate our brains need to feel appropriately nourished. We are hungry for the HOPE that our external world can change to bring us more loving reception and more positive emotional input we-are-in-a-life-and-death struggle to receive.
    Therefore, when someone comes along in a "high" position (parental position) speaking enthusiastically of avenues of hope and change we feel moved! If such a leader facilitates progress in leading us to change our external world in positive ways to promote our brains feeling lovingly received and receiving more positive emotional input, it is no gimmick and not empty words. It is the ultimate solution! One book calls it the bread of life.
Robert DeWester
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