2019

Extinction?

Even if you rarely, or never, follow the news, you could not help but do so these past two weeks as the World’s blood pressure shot up with all the goings-on! US Government Shutdown/Showdown, Brexit upheavals, gilets jaunes continuing, Australian heat-waves, Davos shenanigans, Venezuelan coup drama, dams exploding in Brazil, and a host of other breath-taking events. Total, dangerous and terrifying leadership deficit!

As a result of all this more and more people will become increasingly fearful, frustrated and angry, which might leave you saying that Earth as we know it could be in the process of Extinction. The possibilities of its doing so range from a galactic space phenomenon, to climate change, to nuclear war, to a raging pandemic et al. Some scientists and writers about these subjects believe that it is imminent, others project it close, or far, into the future. Who knows for sure? No one. My own life experiences have demonstrated pretty clearly that there is nothing to be taken for granted, and that we can go to bed tonight thinking all is well with us and the world only to wake up tomorrow morning to face a personal, or a collective disaster.

While we cannot do anything about a galactic event that might annihilate us, climate change, a raging pandemic, war, or nuclear war are within our control to manage if we have a responsible and conscientious political leadership across the world, which we do not. Actually, and judging from what’s been happening all over, not at all! And, with the voting public being subject to manipulation by politicians – as well as the corporations that bribe them, and the corrupt elements in the media (much worse than tabloids these days!) who cheer them on – who have been systematically disregarding our personal well-being and the inequality and injustice permeating the planet in order to secure an election and/or to continue feeding the rampant greed and corruption that are imperiling us, it seems that it will not happen any time soon, and the world will continue to be dysfunctional until we all get out of our comfort zones and demand better. Very little changes on its own. Politics certainly never does unless it becomes an uncomfortable demand for leaders.

As I listen to more and more people, I find that rare – very rare! – is the person who has not experienced some sort or the other of a dysfunctional/traumatic/stressful situation within their own lives. It could be they themselves, a child, a spouse, a family member or another close person. Wars, drugs; opioids; alcohol; rape; alienation; uprooting; PTSD; violence; bullying; suicide; mental, physical or sexual abuse; bankruptcy and a menu of other ordeals to identify with, personal or otherwise, that will not go away on their own, and that often require a decisive and courageous decision, or outside help to resolve. Until we decide what course of action to take, we simply have to deal with them in the best way possible. Wallowing in our distress, whatever its source, is like being a cat who is chasing its own tail and going bonkers for not being able to do so! Have you ever seen this? It’s hilarious! So don’t sit around waiting for your issues, and the world’s, to unscramble themselves. They most probably won’t!

I believe you all know that when faced with a stressed and anxious person, the first item that the medical community would suggest is a thorough physical health check-up to find out if there are underlying physical issues for one’s distress. The connection between Body and Mind cannot be underestimated. In this regard: there are great doctors, so-so doctors and doctors who make me wonder if they didn’t fake their degrees! One has to be careful! After finding out whether all is as well as can be, or whether there is a physical issue that should be addressed, then we can talk about: Attitude.

Yes, there are stressful situations lurking everywhere we look. Everywhere! A friend of mine has become so totally freaked out and anxiety-ridden that she eventually developed Agoraphobia and won’t leave her home! Her exact opposite, and another friend, chooses to go on living her la-di-dah life while ignoring any and all news of all kinds fake, or true. Most of us are somewhere in between these two extremes. My children occasionally tell me that I sound like a totally freaked out paranoid when I over-worry and pelt them with my precautionary advice-giving! They also think it hilarious when the iPhone, or iMac give me unfamiliar prompts, or change the settings on me, and I swear to them that there is a ghost living in my device! At the end of the day, our Attitude in dealing with all these real and/or imagined circumstances is what matters, and having a Positive Attitude, primarily by starting off with eating healthy and exercising regularly, helps to somehow alleviate the worst of conditions.

This is why it surprises me that so many men and women I know do not exercise at all. Why not? After all, half an hour a day, five times a week is an achievable goal that can be done at home, in a park, fitness studio, or at the gym. Anywhere, really. And, the excuse: “I am not motivated enough” does not hold any water. Nike’s slogan: Just Do It, is a perfect answer for those sitting on the fence! At my age, I have chosen walking as my preferred exercise. I call it my meditation time, and concentrate on listening to my music and thinking positive thoughts, and, whatever stress, issues, concerns, or worries I may have are shelved during that time. It is self-defeating otherwise!

Also, many people I know are still skeptical about the effects of what we consume on our Minds and Bodies. However, there are numerous studies – authentic ones, not those conducted by corrupt scientists/doctors who skew the data so as to please their greedy corporate masters – that attest to the fact that Organic foods which are free of GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms), pesticides, artificial preservatives, sugars, salts, fats, hormones and antibiotics et al have a direct effect on our minds and bodies. Of course, not being aware of what, and how much, we are consuming of anything is one of the main reasons why there are so many obese people, as well as people on all sorts of medications. For those of us who have the means, it is mostly ignorance and laziness that prevent our eating healthy and in reasonable, not gluttonous amounts. Genetics is another factor, however, we can only do so much about that.

Yes, we are living through a very disconcerting period on this planet, and Extinction might be on our horizons. However, let’s not be in a hurry to Extinct ourselves when there are doable alternatives! Where I am concerned, and at this age, it is not to prolong my life, or to look younger that I exercise. It is because going out in style sounds like a pretty attractive option for me if I have anything to say about it! Unfortunately, I don’t have the last word on this: The Higher Authority does! What about you?

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