Western society totally idolises an athletic body shape but resents the physical exertion required to attain it. We try to minimise human physical work by any means possible. As far as I’m concerned, every time you switch on any form of electrical equipment, you’re basically signing an invisible contract that reads:
“I accept that as a consequence of using this device, I risk becoming physically and/or mentally unhealthy”
We choose to avoid using our muscles at each and every oportunity and then suddenly wonder why we’re obese. We drive to work, drive home and then drive to the gymnasium (if at all). Most of us have even become too lazy to cook or make anything for ourselves – we invent power tools & kitchen utensils to do it all for us. Take this scenario for instance:
Rather than whip a cake using a wooden spoon the old-fashioned way, we’d now sooner collectively sit in front of a computers all day long, earn enough money for a mechanical cake mixer which can do it for us (basically employing a whole host of product design engineers, entrepreneurs, the sales & marketing department, and everyone else who works in the wholesale and retail chain).
But in so doing, have we really saved any time? And is it really any easier? It certainly doesn’t sound any more efficient. Even so, we’re now sending a global message that we’d rather do things this way and bugger the consequences. We don’t even question why we don’t do it the old way anymore. We basically do it because everyone else does. Is it the fault of employers who continually expect a higher standard of work? Or does the blame lie with the consumers themselves, who insatiably demand “the latest and greatest”.
We become irritated just thinking about the repercussions. What repercussions? We blindly swallow some kind of pill to mask the long-term consequences of doing things which are un-natural… be it for cholesterol, obesity, stress, or some other kind of “disease”. Perhaps it is our own mode of thinking which is the true disease. Despite all this, some of us would still rather be fat & schitzophrenic than utilise our muscles.
There is currently no international standardisation for comparing the mental health of different countries. Granted, this is a difficult thing to measure. But I’m willing to bet that there is a direct corelation between the incidence of mental health problems in a society and the amount of energy it consumes per capita.
As we rely on artificial machines to a greater extent, we also now tend to isolate ourselves from our natural environment. It’s as if the very purpose of technology is to extract our dependence on -our very existence in- nature itself! It’s not hard to see that we have become co-dependent with technology. Take away our machines and I expect that chaos would quickly ensue. At the same time, modern man is writhe with mental crises; as a species, it seems as if modern [westernised] man is failing to adapt to an environment which we ourselves have created.
If ever I had a conspiracy theory, this would be it: that we are â€˜trainingâ€™ the next generation to live without the presence of the natural world. We encourage this behaviour, either consciously or subconsciously, because we expect that the natural world as we know it wonâ€™t last very much longer. I find this thought horrendously depressing. People today entertain themselves indoors with computer programs and plasma screens. Itâ€™s not real entertainment, itâ€™s virtual entertainment. We even eat packaged, artificial food (okay although a part of it might actually be real, it certainly looks 100% synthesised). Weâ€™ve augmented our communications with technology so much, that we are fast losing the ability to communicate naturally. Weâ€™re becoming completely dysfunctional. I donâ€™t even need to go into it. Pretty soon, we wonâ€™t even be able to survive without anything artifical. Imagine, a species so â€˜advancedâ€™, that it canâ€™t survive without its own creations. I find that incredibly ironic. Well, I suppose thatâ€™s why I call this section â€œVida EnigmÃ¡ticaâ€ (Strange Life).