I am not the most qualified person to speak on the issue of the declining human condition and how it relates to the environment, but I do buy into the notion that we are our own worst enemy.
I hear you… if we’re living longer than at any other point in human history, then how is the human condition deteriorating?
Because we are no longer facing death by toothy predator, or childbirth, or even infectious disease. We’ve overcome all of the threats of our original environments and have mastered use of the earth’s resources to better our living conditions. We’ve beaten Mother Nature at her own game- we house our predators in zoos, engineer our own food, manipulate the gene pool, and reshape the landscape for our own convenience. We design drugs to override, substitute, and mimic normal brain chemistry in response to stress. We ride when we should walk. Running is a contrived activity as it is no longer a requirement for survival. We’ve even discarded our tribal tendencies in a valiant effort to go it alone.
So how did we become so disease-ridden, stressed, and lonely?
Because our environment no longer resembles how we were designed to live.
The Human Mantra should be to “Live by Design”.
- Eat what grows from the earth.
- Use your muscles and bones for meaningful, challenging tasks.
- Solve problems.
- Build or join a tribe.
- Share resources for the betterment of your community.
- Walk on natural surfaces in natural environments- grass, rocks, slopes, puddles.
- Nurture something or someone.
- Consider stress to be an elevated sense of alertness. The discomfort is good for you.
- Alleviate excess stress through physical activity. If you are being chased by a dinosaur, RUN!
- Go to bed when it gets dark. Rise with the sun.
Rejecting a few modern conveniences, even in tiny doses, could have a tremendous impact in the reduction of chronic conditions, including dementia.
And finally, read everything you can by my friend and hero Dr. Frank Forencich at Exuberant Animal who is credited with the content for most of this paraphrased post. So beautifully obvious…