65. Great progress creates great responsibility

Uncategorized Sep 15, 2020

Nearly everything we work on together is a result of humanity's insane progress.

Paradoxically, our progress in certain areas have lead to us regressing in others. I don't think this is OK.

By nature of you being here you agree to some extent.

You may not crusade and start a business to correct the regressions like I did but you believe you have a responsibility to yourself, your family, and your friends enough that you commit to working out and eating right. That is a big deal because many of the people we're surrounded by take little or no responsibility for these things. I view this as a spit in the face of those who came before us - the ones who created the progress we benefit from - as well as those who are immediate to us. By not taking care of yourself you rob both parties. 

We created a system to manage our food so we don't eat too much and become unhealthy. This is progress because the number one killer of people for the longest amount of time was the opposite: starvation from not enough food. In less than 200 years we went from a world full of malnutrition to one full of obesity. Never mind the fact that we can feed every person on the planet comfortably, in the blink of an eye that ability has been abused so heavily that we swung to the opposite end of the spectrum and now one of our leading killers is death stemming partly from eating too much. 

We created a system to get enough physical activity in daily. Hunter gatherers - the people who go out and kill and collect their food accumulate an average of 19.8 miles of forward movement daily. This style of living prevailed for thousands of years before the agricultural age. It has been lessened even more since the beginning of the one we live in now: the technological age. The average American saunters about at a paltry 1.5 to 2 miles daily. This reduction in movement need represents progress because none of us have to move to have the basic necessities of life anymore. Food, shelter, clothing, and friendships are all available while remaining firmly planted on your ass. Progress. 

Such a lack of activity contributes heavily to the obesity and cardiovascular disease that kills more people in a year than terrorist attacks, automobile accidents, and war - combined. 

We manage our thinking and free time in a way that contribute to a healthy individual. Before the 20th century free time was something reserved for the elites or twice a year week-long vacations, if that. Now our days are flush with it. The average American now enjoys as much leisure time as the Royal classes of centuries past. One study suggests from 1900 to 2006 the average American reduced his annual work hours by 550. That's a lot of extra time do do what you please. But many are using that time in a sedentary, no productive way. Again, contributing to the fattest populace ever. 

When I started learning about how far and how fast we've come I felt a renewed responsibility to use the resources I've been given for good. I would help others with my work, but not before I helped myself - yet one more sign of just how good things really are. I would mind my activity and food so as not to be one of the assholes who eats and lounges in excess. Lastly, I would spread these ideals to whoever would hear them. They are those of the enlightenment. Being woke isn't just about political or civil topics. I think it's most important to start by waking up to the progress we enjoy and using it to be healthy. Not just for you, but for your family, friends, community, and every person who came before you. Because the progress we too easily take for granted is built on the shoulders of giants. 

I titled this blog 'Great progress creates great responsibility.' It's a near copy of "With great POWER comes great responsibility' a quote Uncle Ben told the new Spider Man just before he died. 

We might not be super heroes, but the progress we've created makes us pretty close. And I'll be damned if I don't take responsibility and do my part. 

That looks like eating just enough when we could eat it all, moving when we could be sitting, and doing something when time demands we do nothing. 


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