to make a difference for the children around the world, we must first make a difference in the world around the children.
To re+cognizesomething, the brain must first cognize it. The child, teen, adult or aging brain must first be familiar with the new letter, number, word, concept. A child learning to speak must hear millions of words, watch hundreds of thousands of items being associated to words and watch thousands of smiling lips moving as they connect to the near-mystic harmony linking sense to sound and sight. A child learning to grasp, to walk, to ride a bicycle must be developmentally, emotionally, and motivationally ready to take the first movements that preceed and set up the second movements that allow the first practices, mistakes, retries, and eventual first small successes in grasping, walking, and riding that bike.
Everything we learn in the brain, the body and the environment is built on a myriad of small exposures, gradual awarenesses, and larger constructs.
Nothing comes from nothing. Even the “ah-ha!” lightening bolt revelation doesn’t show up out of nowhere. Helen Keller’s “ah-ha!”, Edison’s light bulb, Einstein’s theory of relativity, and your very first word were all built on the exposure, experience, connections and networking of billions of neural connections.
An individual neuron firing alone in the human brain doesn’t mean anything. It is what it touches, and what it touches touches that allows us to see, hear, taste, smell, touch, feel and understand. The human eye can see an individual photo from a mile away. But an individual photon of light hitting the retina doesn’t mean anything. It is the symphony of pin-pricking photons swirling together, overlapping and bombarding the retina simultaneously that allows us to see the baby’s smile, the dancing flame, the starry sky.
Everything is context. Everything is connected.