Note: I write a syndicated newspaper column in several Northern CA papers. However, I like to post it here to just to share. Enjoy.
In eons past, when Greek society was the pinnacle of what we were, noble thinkers such as Aristolte and Ptloemy studied the velvet curtain with pinprick lights that encompassed the night sky. They, among others, deduced that the Earth was the center point of a vast, miraculous arrangement, whereby every star twinkling at night; the shiny, silent, silvery moon; even Apollo, fiery, blazing god of the sun; all orbited on a vast globe about the our planet. Referred to as geocentric theory of the solar system, it held true until the early modern age.
In the 1500s, contrary to contemporary opinion, Nicolaus Copernicus postulated the planets, including Mother Earth, actually cycled about the sun instead of the other way around. This heliocentric explanation of the solar system became the standard bearer of science until the late 1900s; when, at that point, the baby-boomers reached full power, upturning all convention thought.
"What about me?" became our catch phrase; and civilization adjusted. Attitudes shifted, mores changed, and eventually we discovered that everything revolves around us, giving birth to the current, Egocentric theory, of the solar system.
My prodigious portion of the population has pounded a passageway through history, pummeling posterity and reshaping the social order. In the fifties and sixties, pop culture adjusted to our demands. In the seventies, so did education, followed by the workforce. We are accustomed to getting what we want, when we want, and how we want it. It has been the norm. It is what is.
It is also no more.
Despite our prevalence and power, some things give no sway; the process of growing older is unimpressed with whom we are. Serious personal decisions face us as the implacable wall of age, looms ever closer on the horizon.
My generation, which drives its children two blocks to school in oversized automobiles, fitted with power windows and seats, must now actually exercise with regularity. From a lifetime of made-on-demand, ordered-and-prepared-immediately, super-sized, anyway-you-want-it, open-24-hour, great tasting options; we must curtail our hedonistic urges, or face unpleasant consequences.
I prefer to consider myself "enlightened," believing that I will opt for the greater good, foregoing personal pleasure in exchange for what's "right" or "noble." Yet, even I, in my lofty peak find myself periodically cranky at having to choose low fat, high fiber, or the cold discomfort of an early morning walk.
While recently dealing with such an internal hissy fit, for whatever reason, it dawned that some; dare I say, many; simply dream of such options. They do not all live in far flung places with foreign sounding names like Malawi, East Timor, and Yemen; many reside in shelters in cities with names such as Eureka, Sacramento, and Newhall. I despise sacrifice, my inner child stomps his feet and kicks violently. Comfort and habit are more fun.
But in perspective, I am so fortunate that I am even given the option.
It's time to get over myself, get up, and get moving.