What was he thinking?

Updated on October 15,2022

“Oh, my God!! He lost it. What a mess!!” Once in a while, we all have done something that ‘we are not proud of.’ Something that left our beloved ones or the closest fellows wide-mouthed. It might have been done at an instant or something that began long ago and has been continuing without you even realizing it, let alone thinking about the consequences. Is like you are locked in a house with a door, yet even the sight of the door is amiss or rather its location is a mystery yet to be solved. So, all you got to do is conform yourself to the house, till someday someone shines a torch light at the invisible door. An example would suffice.

A college student has been given KSh. 120,000 (approx. $USD 1200) by the parent or guardian that they may use it for their fee. He walks right back to school and promises to walk himself to the bank, tomorrow, very early in the morning, that he may deposit the fee to the school’s account. Later on, in the evening of the same day, he is summoned by a close friend who wants to welcome him back after the long holiday they have had. The first thing he notices is that his friend’s room has seriously changed, or should we say there are new items for leisure. Home theatre stands tall at a corner, the 4 by a half bed no longer exists and in its stead, lays harmoniously, a plush 6 by 6, upon which lies a high density mattres which our friend cannot afford unless he forgoes his whole pocket money for the month. Having fallen short of the words for describing other luxuries, I will move on; just know he was surprisingly shocked.

Soon drinks like the ‘monster energy’, were brought in before some uncompacted daughters of men (exceedingly in number) are thrown into the occasion like some bags of trash being hurled at the back of the city council’s trash truck.

monster energy drink

Needless to say, the party went on the very same course currently harbouring your imagination. But one thing is of utmost importance, the impact of the party on our friend. He considered his friend’s new lifestyle and then daringly fixed his own feet onto his friend’s shoes. For your information, he considered not his friend’s foot diseases. Curiosity (as if supplied by monster energy) soon flew in, and so he found out how his friend got his money to support his momentary Nebuchadnezzar lifestyle.  “You simply guessed the outcome of the blues vs the gunners!!??.” Anxiety became company and hope for the best, soon followed suit. Truncating the story, he emulated his friend’s actions; but more foolishly. At least his friend dived in with his own money. But because he considered his own wisdom beyond that of a fool, he dived in with his fee. Back to the opening quotations. And then the title. Wisdom in thine own eyes is not wisdom, and so foolishness in the age of reason is a societal misfit. Maybe you are wondering why he didn’t consider looking before he leapt.  But before you shout, “the devil at work!”, discern the following.

Science at work or should we say works of science


There are two minds at play here. One that feels and one that thinks. Let’s just say, the amygdala and the neocortex respectively. The amygdala is the emotional part of the brain, which regulates the fight or flight response. When threatened, it can respond irrationally. Think of it as the part that makes you press that snooze button on the pretext of, “it’s cold out there, but in here is sweetly warm.” The neocortex is the rational guy. The executive part of the brain. As the computer architect you can think of it as the logic gates, the OR, AND, NOT, NAND, XOR etc. It is the part responsible for logical thinking. It is the part that makes you sit at the table that you may plan how to spend your KSh.1000 (approx. $USD 10). Simply say, it is the “what if…” questions generator. It harbours the innermost part of the golden circle of thought.

The architecture of the brain gives the amygdala a privileged position (however small it is) as the emotional sentinel, able to hijack the brain and take control. The stimuli comes in from the eyes or ears and goes immediately to thalamus. It then goes right to amygdala before a signal reaches the neocortex.  Science also has it that, when the amygdala is active with blood and oxygen, there is less activation in the prefrontal cortex. Our thinking power is disrupted and there are deficits in our problem-solving capabilities, because the blood and oxygen are in the amygdala versus the prefrontal cortex. This survival mechanism lets us react to things before the rational brain has time to mull things over. This explains the “what was I thinking behaviour.” This trigger mechanism though can be sloppy and distort things in this quick reaction process. A rush of stress hormones floods the body before the prefrontal lobes (regulating executive function) can mediate this reaction. That is, the amygdala processes the information in milliseconds and initiates behaviours before your rational brain can sort out the information, generate options, and make a conscious choice. for the rational I, that spells danger.

As it can be seen by you, it is simply how effective you are at delegating the processing of information that will define you. Religion, philosophy, and logical thinking of other kinds are here to help train your brain to make decisions that are good for all. However, have you ever asked yourself why the training is needed? Why train one on how to play football if that and that alone is what one was born to do? I mean, there is nothing else to do rather than play football. As accustomed to you, there are many more substitutes of football and so, there are many more things that will compete for your attention during the play itself. One thought will tell you to jump on your opponent’s heels (all because his fast speed is annoying) even if it’s quite clear that you have missed the ball. The other thought will tell you to avoid the same and rely on your mates to tackle him. I’m simply saying that, there are always many factors at play. Even if steering a car, there is the steering wheel, the brake and acceleration pedals, and the gear will also call for your attention at some point. So, you need to know when to abandon this one and advance on the other.  For this or the other may spell doom for you, or may smell doom for the stubborn cockroaches hence your happiness. It’s purely your call.

In a future article, I will help discuss how this revelation in science is being applied in the various fields of human intelligence. How one can save himself from this victimised thinking will also be discussed. To the human knowledge, science has also developed some chemicals that can forcefully hijack the amygdala and make it the father of your actions for a give amount of time. This has some serious profound effects with a funny ending that when done you remember none. Knowledge is sweet indeed.