A Matter of Souls by Denise Lewis Patrick

By Denise Lewis Patrick

From the seashores of Africa to the bowels of a transatlantic send to a balloting sales space in Mississippi to the jungles of Vietnam, all human connection is an issue of souls.

In this stirring number of brief tales, Denise Lewis Patrick considers the souls of black women and men throughout centuries and continents. In every one, she takes the degree in their dignity, describes their goals, and catalogs their fears.

Brutality, good looks, laughter, rage, and love all take their turns in every one tale, however the ultimate impact is of indomitable, luminous, and hooked up souls.

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Alas, we must transition from childlike dependence to mature independence. That can feel like a survival threat to the part of your brain that expects to be taken care of. This motivates people to find adult love, and that keeps our genes alive. But the interdependence of mature love never measures up to the dependence of your brain’s first circuits. Love feels good because it’s hard to keep your DNA alive in the state of nature. Survival rates are low and mating opportunities are harder to come by than you might expect.

Fish don’t even wait for their eggs to hatch. They swim off to pursue other interests the moment their eggs are fertilized. Plants send their seed into the wind without ever knowing if it grows into mighty oaks. Mammals, on the other hand, bond with their child because oxytocin receptors prepare us to feel good about it. ) Parental attachment revolutionized the biology of the brain. It became possible for mammals to be born without 2 | Meet Your Happy Chemicals 47 survival skills and to learn from life experience instead.

If she loses them to predators, her genes are wiped out. So she does her darnedest to keep every single one alive. Oxytocin and Attachment But the more you invest in each child, the more you lose if it dies. Attachment is what makes this strategy work. Momma mammals guard each newborn constantly, and herds help them out. When a predator snatches a young mammal, the mother 48 Habits of a Happy Brain loses a chunk of her lifetime reproductive capacity, but oxytocin keeps motivating attachment. For most of human history, people spent their lives in the network of attachments they were born into.

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