Thursday, March 4, 2010

The band-aid society

This is not a post about running, but something I've been mulling over for a while and I thought it was worth musing over in print.

A few things here and there that I've seen or heard recently have triggered in me the belief that we are the architects of our own demise. That's probably not a huge revelation, but the manner in which I believe that we inflict troubles on ourselves boils down to one simple thing - we like to treat the symptoms of our problems, rather than finding the real cause and addressing that. It's a quick fix with immediate results, but almost always ignores the real problems, which will then manifest again in one form or another. In short, we're lazy. I'll run through a few examples that spring to mind.

A big one first - global warming. Now I'm a sceptic of this for starters - I think there are far bigger issues we need to address first, and whether or not we're making the globe 1 or 2 degrees warmer is up for debate anyway - but how are we looking to address it? By putting taxes on everything and anything that our governments can think of. And we all go along with it (I'm generalising) because it means we don't have to think about it. It's someone else's problem to come up with a "scheme" to reduce our carbon footprint. How about looking at our lifestyles and the amount of crap we consume and spew out into the atmosphere that is causing the (alleged) global warming? That will never happen, because it would mean we have to look introspectively at our own lives. We're too lazy for that.

Take obesity - a pretty large problem, pardon the pun. How do we address it? Fat pills, stomach stapling, liposuction, wonder drugs. How about turning off the TV, getting off your arses and doing something about it, like eating real food and doing some exercise? Of course not. We look to fix the symptoms, never the causes.

High blood pressure, cholesterol issues, type II diabetes, most cancers, all problems that stem from a piss-poor diet and lack of exercise. The solution? All sorts of wonderful drug concoctions, invasive surgery, and who knows what else. Where does the responsibility for your own body come into it? It's the only possession you truly own! If the average person caught their children treating their material possessions like TV's / computers / whitegoods with the same disdain we treat our own bodies with, they'd be mortified, yet the same behaviour towards their own bodies goes unquestioned. I find it baffling.

I know this is one hell of a rant, and anyone reading this could be forgiven for thinking I'm in a state of constant anger if this post is anything to go by. I'm not at all. I just think we're capable of so much more, but we're our own worst enemies. I find it sad to think because of all our technological advances, we are becoming a lazy species so out of touch with ourselves that one day we'll reach a point where the majority of the population is relying on technology just to survive - not live, survive - day to day.

We put ourselves in a constant state of stress, and somehow manage to convince ourselves that it's all good, that we are happy. Got a problem? Put a band-aid on it, that'll fix everything. I'm not sure what the point of this essay is, but I know that more of the same is not the answer. We need a new approach.

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