Fat, Lazy Bastards
I don’t want to start the new year on a downer, but I recently was made aware of a troubling prediction.
For the first time in human history, our children are expected to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. What’s frustrating about it, is that it’s entirely avoidable and inexcusable. The top three activities that lead to death are (1) smoking; (2) diet; (3) exercise (lack thereof).
Our kids are scaling back on the smoking. But the diet and exercise is sorely lacking. We are fat and lazy. And we make stupid excuses for it. Which makes us bastards. Here’s what we typically say:
- I don’t have enough time.
- It’s genetic. (Give me a break.)
- I’m depressed, so it’s OK to eat a pint of Cherry Garcia.
Regardless, the bottom line is that no one seems willing to point the blame on themselves.
Having just lost 25 pounds, I can admit that I was one of these blamers once. (I had two kids by emergency c-section and as a working mom I don’t have time to exercise).
Here’s the Newsflash…you are overweight because you eat too much and you don’t exercise enough. It’s YOUR fault.
Somehow we’ve become a society of people who are unwilling to take the blame for anything. We sue to cash in on our own incompetence and stupidity. (Remember the McDonald’s Hot Coffee incident?)
We’ve become a society of fat, lazy, bastards. Not just physically fat and lazy, but intellectually fat and lazy as well. We accept facts so long as they support our world view and when we challenge alternate points of view it’s mostly via some emotional argument about how the other guys is either “stupid” or a “communist.”
Let’s be intellectually honest for a moment and realize that such an approach is suspect even for a schoolyard scuffle.
Here’s the bottom line.
The problem seems to be two-fold:
1) We don’t know how to do things ourselves anymore.
2) We are at the same time very, very self-focused.
Let’s examine the following….
- Everything we eat comes out of a box or a can (or a window).
- If we need something fixed, we pick up a phone, not a tool.
- We are buried in crap we don’t need. And most of that crap is poorly made.
- If we are even slightly inconvenienced (someone waits too long at a green light) we start freaking out.
- Everyone we disagree with is “an idiot.”
None of this changes from the top down. It changes from the bottom up. It changes with individuals making better choices, thinking more critically, and taking themselves less seriously.
I have a feeling that 2011 is going to be one of those pivotal years. The kind that you look back upon and say, “yup, that’s when it all started to change.” There’s a lot of uncertainty now. About our economy. Our society, in general. We can’t just wait for stuff to get better. We need to make stuff get better.
We are at a sea change and it starts with individuals choosing to own up to their own responsibilities, stop making excuses, and stop living like fat, lazy bastards. You don’t NEED half the stuff you think you do. Support your local retailers and farmers instead of buying lots of cheap crap and crappy food. Allow people to disagree with you without indignantly huffing and puffing about it. And trust me, you can find 20 minutes to get off your butt and sweat a little. Hopefully you choose to do it with your kids.
It really doesn’t take much to make a change that matters. I for one can’t live with the notion that we are killing our kids as we turn them into even fatter, lazier bastards than we are.
Consider this a wake up call. Happy New Year.