Posted 28 August 2011, by Sam Dickson, Daily O’Collegian (Oklahoma State University), ocolly.com
The past few years have brought us a frenzy of overzealous work-out gurus and nutrition Nazis, all spewing information at us about how we’re not healthy enough, thin enough or defecating enough. Well, I say enough. You really want to be healthy? Go outside.
Seattle, Wash. is one of the dreariest places in the contiguous United States. It rains constantly, people wear dark colors, and the suicide rate there is magnificently depressing. Why? There isn’t any sunshine.
Seattleites suffer from a mega vitamin D deficiency, which the sun so graciously supplies. We need those rays, and as blessed Oklahomans, we have a wonderful, record-breaking climate that rain happens to be allergic to.
Outside is where it all began. Whether you’re so inclined to believe it all started in a garden or not, all of our ancestors were people of the land. In fact, many cultures today still understand the value of being more in touch with nature than our fast-paced urban society here in America.
Think about the cultures who still build the houses they occupy or whose religions make a very poignant point to respect nature. No, they don’t drive fancy cars or watch Jersey Shore, but they do often live together and take care of each other as a community; they also happen to have acquired a significantly less amount of debt and stress, I would venture to think.
Oh no. I just wrote about, “nature.” Does that mean I breached the hippie threshold? I did, indeed. Even though I don’t believe in all of the pillars of Hipslam, I do think they had some of their facets right. We are connected to this earth, even if some of us only relate that to being worm food one day.
That’s actually very significant; we will literally be a part of the dirt, replenishing the same ground we graciously took nutrients from while we were living. We need the earth, and she needs us, too.
I would like to insert a tirade on recycling here, but I’ll resist the urge because we’ve all heard enough about that. However, taking care of the resources we have and the home we live in is of utmost importance to me, my fellow man, and to future generations. It’s selfish and ugly to litter and only lazy people do it.
We could all use a dose of courtesy, but don’t just extend that to other homo sapiens. Throw Mother Earth a bone every once in a while, too, but I don’t mean that literally.
How many of us have actually taken some serious time and noticed just how magnificent the relationship is between man and his home? It’s a lost art in today’s society to just sit, soak up some rays, and watch the squirrels run around the trees, but I encourage you to do just that. Or better yet, go hiking, trail running, mountain biking, kayaking, rock climbing, skiing, fishing, gardening, rowing, sailing, long-boarding, dog-walking, poem-writing, sun-bathing, swimming, journaling, or Frisbee-ing.
Make time to do the things you like to do and that will positively affect your health. Trying something new also does wonders for the soul. Connect with your roots; we can better understand ourselves when we know where we came from; I personally find comfort in the fact that some of my relatives are a bunch of nuts.