Monday, August 4, 2014

Become Stronger

A popular opinion in my society is that humans are "destroying the planet," or will destroy the planet. That's silly. A couple of million years after the last of us dies, there will be no trace left of us. Other species will rise. A couple of million years is nothing to Mama Gaia.

Of course we're really talking about earth as it exists at this moment in time, all lush and green with many species. Homo sapiens has overpopulated and is actively despoiling the habitat. This happens often on this planet - the overpopulation by one species and subsequent destruction of habitat. After that, there is a die off.

It happened during the Permian extinction. It happened to the dinosaurs. It will also happen to us. We are not separate from the earth - we are part of the biosphere of planet earth. The thought form that produces language like, "nature is good for you," or "get out into nature," -- inaccurate and, I think, dangerous - is a vestigial remnant of the old idea that man is at the top of the food chain, above the rest of the world, better than, smarter than, every other species. Oh the hubris. My goodness.

Many animals shape their environments. We have opposable thumbs and big brains so our nests, dens, and hives are really fancy. Though, if you look at a robin's nest and realize they did all that with only a beak - well - it's humbling in a really good way. Extraordinary we are, but better than? More talented than? Smarter than? No way.

Our species will experience a big die-off, and eventually, extinction like every species. It is inevitable. Me? I think it will be a virus or bacteria that gets us, like Ebola, for instance. The outbreak of Ebola in Africa scares me. They say they will be able to contain it. I hope they're right. It's much stronger now than when they started tracking it. With each outbreak, the virus gets smarter, and stronger. If not this time, maybe next time. Or maybe it will be another virus or bacteria. This is my doomsday theory. Cheers!

I was thinking about the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-1920. For the world population of that time, it was a significant die-off. A hundred years later there are many more of us and much more of our environment has had to bear the impact of that. I think we're due.

I hope I'm wrong.

In the meantime, though, or - even if we aren't headed for a big pandemic of some kind - it behooves us to become stronger. In my society, we have weakened ourselves tremendously since World War I. We no longer engage in physical work unless we choose to do so. Even simple tasks like sweeping the floor, washing the dishes, raising and lowering a garage door, opening and closing car windows with a roller, standard transmissions and no power steering, though minor tasks in and of themselves, add up over the course of a day. The drudgery of the mundane is strengthening. Now we press a button and become weaker every day.

I understand our inventions are miraculous. I'm certain no one set out intentionally thinking of ways to make us weak and helpless. We are a very optimistic species, never anticipating the problems we create when we invent something new. We are so creative, we can't help ourselves. It's only with the 20/20 of hindsight that we realize where we went wrong.

Please become stronger.

Grunt work is strengthening!  Walk up and down stairs, wash the dishes by hand, scrub those pots and pans. Clean out your refrigerator or oven. Dust. Sweep the floor.

Engage in physical activity that's pleasurable. Please do this every day. That could be running or yoga or walking, dancing, sex, swimming ... do whatever you want. I don't include exercise "boot camps" under the heading of pleasurable.

Eat real food. Please? You can eat anything you want, including foods previously thought to be bad for you, like butter. No junk food. Empty calories only weaken us.

Get enough sleep. Do I have to explain why?

Spend time outdoors every day even if it's too hot, too cold, rainy, humid, chilly, windy or whatever. Shivering, sweating, cursing the weather - all of these are strengthening.

Learn something new every day. This strengthens your ability to solve problems and make good decisions.

Spend time with people you love. Being around beloveds strengthens the soul, it also strengthens the commitment to survive and thrive.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. When you come down with a little cold or something, let your body fight it off. Rest, drink water, sleep. Give your immune system a chance before knocking back the Nyquil. Avoid antibiotics unless you really need them. Avoid sensation killers, also known as pain killers. They dull every kind of sensation, which will make you weaker. I'm not saying be stoic and in pain all the time, no way. There is a place for sensation killers and antibiotics. Avoid them when you can.

Connect with something bigger than yourself, something that feeds your soul. Finding your place in the family of things strengthens perspective and helps cultivate hope, even when all the news is grim. It wisely reminds us that we control almost nothing. This is strengthening.

Forge a relationship with spirit, God, Goddess, or whatever you want to call it. The Greater Wisdom, The Greater Kindness. These are terms I sometimes use since God triggers all kinds of associations that might not strengthen the relationship. I'm not talking about religion necessarily. I am talking about faith. Individuals who believe they are the ultimate authority, once under pressure, crumble so much faster than those who understand there is a big picture and connect with that big picture. Faith is strengthening.

Oh man, this Ebola outbreak has got me spooked. May it soon be contained! May it be so.

In my society we have grown so weak and become so foggy. May we grow stronger. May it be so!