Play is a hallmark of childhood.
When adults have to light a fire under children to do what is inherent to their nature, it is a massive red flag to our culture.
Technology is moving at warp speed. We're able to converse with people on the other side of the world in a flash (even when we don't speak the same language), thanks to translation software. We can shoot, edit & send video on our cell phones – an activity relegated to a proprietary industry only moments ago, it seems! We can alter our appearances, through elective surgeries, when we don't like what we see & are doing so at alarming rates. That includes surgical alteration of the thumbs in order to make text messaging easier (North Denver Post article). We are installing televisions in every nook & cranny we can find, including places it seems should be amenable to stress reduction (i.e. nice restaurants & doctors offices).
There are always counter arguments to every expression. I am all for advancements in technology – it is a wondrous thing! I'm not concerned here about the politics of technological advancement or about moralism. What I am concerned about is the dampening of the spirit in a time when our world is so in need of conscious awakening.
With every new discovery or advancement in human potential, we see the marvels, but if we do not pay attention to the flip side, we are endangering ourselves even in our own evolution. It seems the NFL is paying attention. Tonight, during the Cowboys/Panthers game, I saw an ad for NFL PLAY 60: The NFL Movement for an Active Generation. They are, thankfully, responding to the appalling statistic that "Childhood Obesity affects 1 out of 3 children in the U.S." NFL players are uniting in an effort to raise awareness about the need for physical activity, especially in our nation's children. Their site reports that "the current generation of children is projected to be the first not to live longer than its parents" & that "only 8 percent of elementary schools provide daily physical education". WHAT?! Are you kidding me?
It seems we're making some progress with the synthesis of our spiritual & mental/emotional selves, but the physical is lagging far behind. I am preparing to publish my novel, Heaven, within the next few months. It is a fictional story that carries the non-fictional message of the need to heal the separation between the spiritual & the sexual self (or the sensual/physical self).
I believe our current healthcare crisis & the epidemic of obesity (yes, 1 in 3 obese children is epidemic) in our society is a symptom of the deeper yearning to reconnect our bodies to our spirits. We are still, after centuries, still steeped in the puritanical religious thought that being spiritually "saved" for eternity is a far loftier pursuit than that of physical pleasure here on Earth. Well, I'm here to tell ya that ignoring the physical body is not in the least bit lofty or spiritual. In fact, we're creating a hell of a global health crisis on Earth by ignoring the need of our spirits to engage in intercourse with our bodies!
More & more, adults are making decisions to remove the necessities of a flourishing society by axing children's music, art, & physical activity programs from schools. And, the level of nutrition being served to them is criminal. Please wake up! Children need the tools to thrive as children. If we don't meet these needs, they cannot thrive as adults.
Researching for this blog post led me to some great places: 1) This blog featured an ad campaign by Texas-based agency, Latinworks, showing obese comic book heroes.
2) The ads were created for Active Life Movement, an organization raising awareness about this crisis & offering a way for all of us to take action. If you need more encouragement, Active Life Movement's site states that, "If current trends continue, nearly 90% of the adult population in the US will be overweight or obese by 2030, with associated healthcare costs skyrocketing to almost $960 billion each year."
Yes, the current generation of children are mind-blowingly intelligent. But, there is a diminishing return on their abilities to maneuver through computer sciences, mathematics, etc. if they cannot move. Genius visits us in our downtime, our playtime (Intuition – She's Your Muse). If we lose our sense of play, we lose our genius, our ability to relate to the natural world & to each other. We are getting dangerously close.
Turn off the television, put away the cell phone & the IPod some every day. Engage with nature every day. Unplug. Live life. Animate your body with the power of your spirit!
Whew! I feel a dance risin' in my bones. Why don't you walk away from the computer & join me in spirit? A celebration of the spirit within the physical body – the ripples of your energy will travel!