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Balancing the Brain: How TimeGivers Nourishes the Neglected Right Hemisphere

Updated: Apr 9

In our fast-paced, data-driven world, it's easy to see the dominance of the left hemisphere of our brains. From problem-solving to decision-making, society often prioritises logic and analysis over creativity and intuition. But what if this imbalance is at the root of many of our societal problems? According to neuroscientist Iain McGilchrist, this may indeed be the case.

In a thought-provoking documentary adapted for IDEAS and streaming on CBC Gem, McGilchrist presents the compelling argument that our left hemisphere has usurped the right, leading to a world that is out of sync with its natural rhythms and interconnectedness. He suggests that the left hemisphere's focus on manipulation and control has left us disconnected from the holistic understanding and empathy fostered by the right hemisphere.

McGilchrist's insights resonate deeply with the mission of TimeGivers, a charity dedicated to nurturing the right side of the brain through enriching volunteering experiences for children. While society may often overlook the importance of creativity, empathy, and intuition, TimeGivers recognises these as essential qualities for building a compassionate and sustainable future.

At the heart of McGilchrist's argument is the notion that the left hemisphere treats the world as a simple resource to be exploited, leading to environmental degradation, social inequality, and a lack of fulfilment. In contrast, the right hemisphere seeks to understand and relate to the world as a whole, recognising the interconnectedness of all living beings.

Through practical activities focused on environmental stewardship, crisis relief, and social connection, TimeGivers empowers children to engage their right brains and develop a deeper understanding of their place in the world. By working with food banks, refugees, the elderly, and others in need, children learn to see beyond individual differences and cultivate empathy and compassion. We’re working with schools to enhance their curriculum, but TimeGivers fills a gap regarding the right side of the brain thinking.

What sets TimeGivers apart is its student-led approach, which places children at the forefront of decision-making. By encouraging young minds to identify and address the needs of their communities, TimeGivers fosters creativity, problem-solving, and leadership skills. In doing so, it not only empowers children to make a difference but also instils a lifelong passion for service and social responsibility.

As McGilchrist aptly puts it, "Einstein said that the rational mind is a faithful servant, but the intuitive mind is a precious gift, and we live in a world that has honoured the servant but has forgotten the gift." TimeGivers seeks to redress this imbalance by celebrating and nurturing the intuitive gifts of children, thereby creating a brighter and more harmonious future for all.

Moreover, as we confront the complex challenges of our time, it is clear that a holistic approach that honours both hemispheres of the brain is essential. Through its innovative programmes and unwavering commitment to nurturing the neglected right hemisphere, TimeGivers is not only shaping the minds of future generations but also paving the way for a more compassionate and interconnected world.

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