what man has made of man

what-man-has-made-of-man (2)I could go on.

With obesity rates skyrocketing in the United States, many people are asking, “Why?” Why are we fatter now than, say, fifty years ago?

Some look to fast food chains for their answer. “It’s all your fault!” they like to say. “You’re too cheap, and you taste too good!” Others blame more healthful foods. “It’s all your fault!” they’re apt to say. “You’re too expensive, and you taste like wood!” Some others blame traffic and a commuter lifestyle. “You take too long!” they often say. “You crawl along; you’re in my way!” And, still others, the weather. “By gosh, it’s hot. Too hot to go; I guess I’ll stay . . .”

Occasionally a bright-eyed individual will examine their use of time throughout the day. They walk when they could drive, move when they could sit. They actually enjoy exercise — or, at least they try to find ways to exercise that they enjoy. And they put their phones down. And turn off the TV. And have real conversations. And go outside.

They see more. And breathe more. And feel more. And live more.

Our bodies were made to move. When we render them stationary — be it by a desk job, TV addiction, video game, social media, or what have you — we compromise them, and our minds, and our lives.

One of my favorite poems by William Wordsworth sums up my thoughts well:

Lines Written in Early Spring

I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.
.
Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And ’tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.
.
The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:—
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.
.
The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.
.
If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?
..
For an (imperfect!) audio recording of this poem, click below.
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11 thoughts

    • I see it a lot, and it bothers me. I know there are a lot of things — weather, lack of time, other responsibilities, etc. — that can get in the way. But if we make movement a priority and part of our lifestyles, it gets a lot easier. Thanks for reading!

    • Uh oh. I didn’t mean to offend! I know weather can get in the way of outdoor activities. I started thinking, too, about all those who *can’t* move. I have a friend who is paralyzed from the waist down. There is so much to be thankful for, so much we often take for granted — which is all the more reason to rejoice in movement if and how we can! If I lived somewhere very cold, I think I’d have to cave in and get a gym membership. :P

  1. Which part of the US do you live Jessica? Since living here in Alberta for past 5 yrs., there is a difference between locals here compared to British Columbia where the winters aren’t so cold as Alberta’s. People in B.C. just tend to move more…and do look abit slimmer. Statistics show that the healthiest Canadian population is in B.C.

    • I live in California, Jean, so I have to admit I’m pretty lucky. Our weather is awesome — albeit often too hot and too dry — much of the year. I don’t think I’d do well in a place with really, really cold winters. I LOVE exercising outside!!

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