#racerelations #race #racism #colonialism #martialarts
In response to the article “The Healthiest Old Person on the Planet.”
Real health lies in optimising the vastly under-utilized, yet essential and natural areas of diet and fitness, not western medicine, which should ideally be reserved primarily for dealing with circumstances of last resort, and less as a system of sustaining chronic illness. There is a significant lack of interest in implementing preventive lifestyle measures in public health and correcting the overall physical robustness of the population.
I’ve worked on my diet, worked on getting as functionally fit as possible, worked on correcting my posture, worked on correcting psychological issues, and worked on improving the quality of my social circle and environment over the last few years, among other things. I recently had an eye test, my eyesight has improved slightly. I look as young or younger than I did ten years ago. I am a superior being to what I was before.
In our most basic state, we are merely animals with opposable thumbs and slightly thicker cerebral cortexes; we must respect our primitive nature, and connection to nature, in order to maximise our potential. The key factors essential to our health, at the centre of our primitive nature, is how we connect to our sources of food, and the mobility of our physical bodies.
In the wake of Robin Williams recent suicide, many questions have come to mind regarding the veracity of the current public understanding of what depression and mental illness is about.
I just want to say a few things in regards to my own experience and how I have dealt with it. It isn’t really about the issues themselves, but more about how one might deal with them if they arise.
It’s difficult to understand mental illness if you don’t know the depth and incredible complexity of the human mind… for example, it has only been through many hours, over many years, of psychoanalysis and psychology counselling have I begun to understand the depth and root cause of my own issues, which might manifest, via convoluted mental pathways, into unusual or awkward behaviors and thought patterns. The deeper I probe, the more complex I realise things are, and how justifiable it is to put in as much effort as I do to understand them.
If it’s difficult for me to understand, with quite a high level of personal insight and a fairly high level of education in and exposure to health and psychology, can you imagine how much more difficult it might be with someone who hasn’t had the benefit of that additional perspective?
So, based what I have learned from my own experiences with limiting psychological issues (and really, these principles can apply to life in general) I would suggest the following ideas as things to consider for a healthier mental state:
1) Seek the Right Environment
Be around the right people, influences, and things you want to see and do. I realise, having moved cities and away from communities I was previously involved in and tied to (personally or professionally) that a LOT of my negative views of the world were very strongly influenced by the experiences I had from being surrounded by (for want of a better term) complete assholes. Now that I have made better decisions to whom I associate with, I am much happier, more positive, leading a much more fulfilling existence, and am not depressed.
2) Seek Self-efficacy
People tend to remain in their default, socially engineered state, for better or worse, if they do not actively seek to change their path. Change must first be desired; the first change that needs to happen is to make the change to want to change. There needs to be some level of self recognition or insight in order to effect progress away from a negative mindset. Self education and playing an active role in disciplining your mind and altering your thought patterns, makes a major difference in the likelihood of changing for the better.
3) Seek the Right Assistance
As much as self-efficacy is a golden goose of progress, there are some things that we can achieve much better insight into through broadening our limited perspectives to include the perspectives of others. These are people who will take the time to listen, understand and offer objective opinions without judgement; perhaps leading to an epiphany of personal understanding that you alone could not grasp. For many, you may have family or friends to reach out to; for others, there are government initatives and organisations such as beyondblue, headspace; for those who can afford it, there are health professionals.
4) Seek the Right Path Early in Life
Once again, however, I would emphasise the importance of creating the best possible environments and influences for our vulnerable and impressionable youth. They are the future of the world, and are an empty canvas painted with the brush of whatever paradigm of reality they are presented with. It is our responsibility to help these younger generations become better than we are, rather than perpetuating any questionable habits out of failure to account for and consider the merit (or lack thereof) our own habits.
For the older the mind, the greater the struggle to change, if precedents created in childhood have set us on a journey to destruction.
Just heard on a tv promo “Will learning violent contact sports make life safer on the streets?” while showing a clip of some thugs fighting on the street and then a BJJ gym. #stupidquestions
Of course there are always the few bad eggs who will not benefit as much, and this is probably because other aspects of their persona have not been dealt with adequately, but that is not to say that martial arts training has not helped them from being worse than they would have been.
For the majority the benefits of martial arts in strengthening and controlling mind/body/soul are immense. It’s time the public became more educated and aware about what #martialarts and combat sports are really about, instead of marginalising it as simple “violence”… #violence is for untrained neanderthals.
In the end we are all just a few millimetres of cerebral cortex away from being a hairless monkey, and without harnessing our human capacity for imagination and self awareness, that additional cortical matter isn’t worth a whole lot.
Martial arts are just that… “arts”… they connect your human imagination to your animal soul, control it, and channel that natural animal aggression into it something beautiful, flowing and precise. It can crash into destructive force, it can bend the opponent to submit to your will, but the skilled practitioner knows and learns how and when and to what degree it is required.
That is the difference between the depth of an “art”, and the indiscriminate, mindless chaos of “violence”.
It does not promise mastery or victory, but it does demand the discipline, respect, skill, determination and pure hard work required to achieve it. These are the attributes and habits that one will be driven to cultivate, if they are not already possessed to some degree.
It may be true that there are some who will never be able to fully embody these characteristics, no matter how much they train, but this is nonetheless this is the potential for empowerment and greatness that martial arts will offer you.