Desiree and skull

Is our brain the seat of our intelligence?

Apr 24, 2022 | Reflective practice

We currently espouse and marvel at the wonders of the human brain. Academia is set up more and more to be the holy grail of achievement… the ultimate attainment as universities, degrees, post grad education etc. are given more and more kudos. And yet we do not have to explore very far into the state of the world to reasonably expose that things are very discordant and not in line with a world that is apparently led by intelligence.

In health care the writing is on the wall… no number of initials after a name guarantee true care or the ability to serve another humbly and in full; the sensitivity to read a situation and what is needed is not borne from endless study.

We are all wise beyond the limitations of the human brain.

Are we pursuing the wrong path, applying academia to caring professions… well actually seemingly applying academia to everything?

The recent Ockendon report in the UK (a report that has been 5 years in the making spanning care provided over 40+ years) sets out four pillars that are essential to incorporate in our maternity services:

Safe staffing levels, appropriately funded… well yes

A well-trained work force… yes

Learning from incidents… of course

Listening to families… naturally

I wonder how much this report cost to produce… and we come up with this. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these recommendations but where have we got to that we can announce them as something new, remarkable and/or brilliant.  Aren’t these basic standards of decency and respect that should be our foundational normal in every area of life? Because we are intelligent, yes?

This is just one example of our lack of intelligence… the foolhardiness and arrogance that dares to call itself intelligent when we are surrounded everywhere we look by the evidence of our waywardness. And that we drum roll and applaud the revelations of a years long investigation that comes up with the above four pillars as the centre stage of its findings. 

The magic we observe in life does not come from academia, it comes from loving, open, humble, transparent, honest connection and communication with ourselves and others.

Working on the ground in health care it is there for all to see. Someone with lauded qualifications can crush and harm and someone with none of the above can empower and heal. So is the brain the seat of our intelligence or can we be wise beyond our human understanding when we connect to our inner most heart and realise what is actually going on in the world around us?

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