Life / Can Do

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Posts Tagged ‘society

We Were Designed To Be Physical Beings

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Whether it was evolution or intelligent design, we were designed to meet the physical challenges of the natural world. The environment would push us to grow strong and be able to endure harsh conditions.

In the name of progress, we’ve become removed from the natural conditions that help shape us. The artificial environment we’ve created that compels us to avoid physical activity and exertion is incompatible with our design. As a result we all are at risk of poor health and unhappiness.

In the same way we created an artificial environment, we’ve also created treatments to keep us alive and functioning. Heart disease is no longer a definite death sentence. Diabetes is now treated so the afflicted can continue to live even though they must endure are difficult at best.

Most of the population is unaware that modern living conditions have such a disastrous effect on us as individuals and as a society. They may consider their sedentary desk jobs preferable to physically demanding work. They are unaware that they have a need for physical challenges. They may sense that something is missing from their lives but without knowing what that is, they may seek comfort from drugs or alcohol. At best, they may come to depend on the mind-numbing practice of watching TV – who can blame them.

Some find an effective way to simulate the conditions that we humans thrive in. They pursue activities such as weight training, running, biking or do something with a more direct link to the natural environment like mountain climbing, surfing or skiing. Whatever it is, they’ve figured out that they need physical challenges to be the type of being they were meant to be.

I’ve lived both the sedentary lifestyle and the physically challenging lifestyle and it became obvious to me that the life of comfort and ease is a cage that we must avoid. Down that road lies stress, unhappiness and an endless yearning for something more out of life.

While some of us have found a way to work around the conditions we live in, it’s not easy. Our work places and schools are not designed to allow for physical activity. Yesterday as I went for a walk about the building where I work, I had to cut across lawns, walk on the street and avoid traffic. The designers of the building obviously intended employees to only walk from the car to the cubical. It would have been simple for them to add a path around the building but I imagine it didn’t even cross their minds.

We can do better. Individuals can choose to seek out physical challenges, but those that do are the lucky ones who were somehow guided down that path. Most people will not be that fortunate. Society has many labels for people who seek physical fitness : runners, weight lifters, fitness nuts, gym rat, surfer and so on. For myself, I’ve heard the term fitness nut applied to me. I’m not a “fitness nut”, I’m a human being doing what a human being is meant to do.

Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

April 3, 2014 at 11:52 am

Meditation Should Be Taught In Schools

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Just do a search on the term “benefits of meditation” and you find plenty of evidence that meditation is a good thing. Meditation is often associated with “hippies” and the new age movement. Personally, I wouldn’t care if it was part of the “My Little Pony” fan culture – if it makes my life better, I’m going to do it.

I try to fit time for meditation whenever I can but I sometimes go for weeks without meditating. I’m not perfect so when life gets busy, it’s easy to justify cutting out the activity that is basically just sitting around, doing nothing. However, I’ve found that if I don’t meditate a few days a week, things start to get a little crazy. I lose my center and stress starts to degrade my ability to think clearly. Once I get in a few days of meditation, things start to settle down and my ability to focus increases.

I came to the realization that most people are in a permanent state of high stress. This explained why it is so difficult to communicate with most people about topics requiring high levels of thought. They just don’t have the capacity to do anything outside of their routine. High stress may also be a major reason why so many people are overweight – they aren’t capable of making any significant changes in their lives.

Meditation has a marketing problem. It’s not even on the radar of the public conscience. Sure people have heard about it and will generally agree that it is a good thing, but most never make the connection that it is something that they should try. There’s not enough peer pressure to take it seriously. It’s not like diet and exercise where most people have at least tried to exercise and eat better. Most people have not even tried to meditate.

This is why I think it should be taught in schools from as early as the first grade. It would be really cheap and easy to implement and it would improve students ability to learn. I’m not saying they could get most kids to sit still quietly for more than 10 minutes but at least they would become aware of the practice so they could choose to make it part of their growth process.

However we do it, it would be a huge benefit to our society if we could make meditation an accepted part of our culture. I’m not suggesting we go overboard where we have family members and coworkers disappearing for a few weeks so they could attend a mediation retreat, but it would be great if the average Joe or Jane could be comfortable enjoying a twenty minute mediation after a tough day at work.



Written by Tim ThinkAuthor

April 2, 2014 at 9:09 pm