Flirting with sloth.

Ever so slowly but surely, people are becoming more accustomed to doing absolutely nothing. Why would they need to? All things can be found on the internet and through phones, television– all delivered to the comfort of your own home. You’re reading this online now, and the most productive portions of my body are my fingers and my mind as I type this.

Not that writing is without merit, by any means. It’s a wonderful way to present most things, be them opinions or desires. Do people want to read much anymore, though? Not really. Not when you can get it on a podcast or a show. Visuals, aural — all things that don’t require much effort. If it has bright moving pictures, it will capture the attention of many.

Devolving into a sloth is a very casual thing. Remove the simple pleasures in life– going outside on a beautiful day just to be there, taking a hike, a bike ride, a walk on the beach.
All of this can be lived out in fantasy, so it’s not as needed. Now it’s just too hot to go outside. I’m tired. My show is on. But we can order in! Maybe tomorrow…
Can’t find the show you want on right now? Order it on the computer. The DVD will arrive shortly.
I just can’t wait for that. Oh, it’s online! Good.
All of this done in a matter of ten minutes, ten minutes that could have led you down the road to a park. You know the places with trees and grass? Yeah, those still exist.
Of course, some people say they don’t want to take the risk.
If you go hiking, what happens if you fall and hit your head?
If you go for a drive, what happens if you crash?
What about parks? People get robbed there.
I could trip on my own foot.
The sun could burn me and I could die.

Presumptuous people may think I cannot see the merit in a good, restful day. That’s hardly the case. Should every day include rest? Of course. I tend to do that after I pull the covers up, but I am hard to keep still.
Even if you’re not a hyperactive adult child like me, there should still be some limits to keep “rest” from becoming sedation. After a time, watching that show becomes more important than other things. You can’t go out that night, I need to see what happens next.
What about your own life? What would have happened next for your reality?

A calm collective of humanity is much easier to contain and control than one that is ready to get up in arms about issues. Armchair politicians run rampant, and you can simply log on to a website to sign a petition. People assume they have no power anyway, and if anyone else does, they’ll handle it. There is a better chance of seeing someone take an online poll to express an opinion than them going out and voting on a proposition.
American freedom of choice has locked people into a sense of security in their money and on their couches. You’re safe at home. Let the television lull you.
Being complacent is going to be the end of our species one day. The general populace delves into nothingness while the aggressive ones take over, and we complain about the wars. People are demanding, but mostly of more additions to their lives they don’t even need.
Children are mostly at risk. It’s easier to park them in front of a television than to take them out and give them exercise. They need better toys. Faster internet.
People have children and assume they are stuck inside forever.
They make strollers for that.
Read to them. Show them the outside world as stimulus instead of colorful characters on the television that shapes their mind.

You can look as far as a person’s car to see how much comfort they need. You can load up on satellite radio, DVD players, vibrating chairs, seat warmers… all so that even in the five minute ride to the grocery store for more delicious fatty foods, you can be assured that entertainment and stimuli are at your fingertips. Luxury has been taken to extremes, and you will hear people complain to no end if their cable goes out for five minutes. I can remember when having AC in the car was considered a huge luxury. Now, if it goes out, you can’t go out.
That sun is still lurking up there, ready to ruin your fun.

From medications to calm us to music to sooth us, places to relax us and entertainment to hold us, we’re losing touch with the foundations of our own existence. Survival is no longer down to food, shelter, and health. It’s being unable to function without your cell phone for a day, making sure you get home in time to harvest your crops, what would we do without this cable internet?
Remember dial-up? No…?

As I sit here in this coffee shop, I am watching people and listening to their complaints. Everyone complains about things many people in other countries would consider trivial. They ran out of blueberry muffins? Oh my god, what ever did you do?
There is a teenage girl about ten feet from me at the counter, whining about how her mother makes her ride the bus so she can understand the importance of money and saving to get a car.
I wish I could meet her mother.
We can pass by the homeless man on the corner asking for a bite, because we have to get to that darling Mexican place with meals for only $15 because Jill told Mary it was très chic.

Perhaps one day, as I’m walking just to walk, I’ll run into someone else just walking to walk.
It hasn’t happened in a long time. People resort to walking if they must be somewhere. There’s an ulterior motive to much of the physical activity people engage in, and it isn’t always just for the sake of it or to stay healthy. Let’s go to the gym to pick up chicks. Maybe if we walk down the beach, someone will notice we exist.

I have made quite a few people upset with my go, go, go needs. I don’t have to be running circles constantly in order to be content, but at least doing something. Going for a drive to discover what’s around. Maybe there’s a place over there we’ve never seen. Taking a walk to feel gravel crunch or the see what is on the other side of that hill. Go to a swingset and remind yourself why you loved it as a kid. Talk to people. Learn about them. Learn something new. My memory likes to soak things in– so while I can quote banal, amusing moments from a movie, I can also tell you the tale of a man I met on the train tracks in Fort Lauderdale one night. When you’re used up and you’ve reached the end of the line, do you want to remember back to all the times you diligently watched the newest fad shows every week, or about the adventures you got into?
Want to spend time making memories with someone you love? It doesn’t have to be on the couch.

Rest is good for everyone. It’s healthy, it’s wonderful. Life, though, isn’t one big break. EARN the rest. EARN the time spent collapsed on the bed, thrilled at all the amazing things you managed to pull off that day.
You want to be a rebel?
Go climb a tree.
Take a swim.
Take a hike, you lazy bum.



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