top of page

It's the serotonin

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently... Psalm 37.7

Or so I am reliably informed - as reliable as a second going on third year sociology/ psychology student is likely to be, that is. All in relation to why emerging generations apparently find it more difficult to be enthusiastic about the future than their predecessors. Every era in history has had its problems, which have caused older generations to grow increasingly cynical and pessimistic, while their successors focus on the opportunities before them and relishing their moment. Until now.

There are obvious reasons why this might be the case: climate change, the nuclear threat, overpopulation... Not so, however. Instead it's the serotonin that's to blame. When people acquire what they desire, serotonin is released flooding the brain with positive feelings. Yet the more this happens the less powerful the impact becomes. When, from infancy, people are used to gratifying their whims and fancies without waiting for Christmas or the next birthday, the overall effect is of creeping disillusion.

So many "traditional values" are making a come-back and here's another one to add to the list: patience. The admonition of the Psalmist might create the impression of a God who struggles to keep up, leaving his creation tapping their feet in exasperation. However, the Bible insists that God is not slow to act but wise. That is to say there is a purpose in patient - even painful - endurance which is hard to appreciate at the time but has its reasons and works towards our longer-term benefit.



bottom of page