Just push the button

Friday, September 22, 2006

We are being bombarded with news stories about our weight and health here in America. I did not really need to hear or see that on television, I look with despair in the mirror every day as I am sure do many of you. I think I have one insight into this problem, that we could all remedy. We should stop pushing the connivence buttons in our lives.

During my lifetime, we have invented or come up with so many labor saving devices, that we don't hardly have to move anymore to do anything.

As a young kid I can remember my folks old crank telephone. It was located on the wall just inside the doorway from our kitchen into the rest of the house.

If you wanted to talk you had to stand there and hold the earpiece up to your ear and lean over to speak into the microphone mounted on the phone itself.

Today many of us who still actually have a dedicated home phone line, don't have any stationary phones in our houses. Portable phones came into vogue a few years ago, and now we can't stand to get up an walk to answer a phone.

Most of us have a cell phone, too. The kids have theirs so they can play music, log online like a home computer, and who knows what else.

When I got my last cell phone, they gave me this thing called a "blue tooth" earpiece. It is so easy, you just put it in your ear and start talking. Talk about lazy, I don't even have to hold the phone, it can sit anywhere within a few feet of the phone. My arm might get tired otherwise.

The television is another area that began and changed within my time. Our old televisions had small screens with poor picture quality. They were attached to outside antenna or rabbit ears, and we often had to tune them several times or loose what picture we did have.

If you wanted to change a channel, you had to get up and go turn the dial. Now we all have the remote in our hand and leaving the comfortable recliner or couch is just too much trouble. My current television actually has a split screen. I can lazily sit in my chair and watch two football games at the same time. No steps to climb and I don't even have to stand up for the National Anthem.

Our food itself has changed, too. Everywhere you look, you will find a fast food restaurant. They call them fast food because you don't have to wait very long for your food fix. In fact, I have known other people and yes, even myself, to get angry. Angry when we got to the window of a fast food joint and they did not have our food ready the minute they opened the window.

Remember how mad you got when they asked you to pull forward? In our homes, we all have a microwave now. How would we live without them? Twenty years ago, when they were the new thing and cost several hundred dollars, we just could not imagine how they would change the kitchen.

I want my baked potato, and I want it quick. Who has time to wait for an hour for a regular oven to bake it?

Lawn mowers and other tools have certainly made a rapid change in our world likewise. As a young kid I can still remember my grandfather mowing his yard on South Cedar with a manual push mower. He even had one of those old push cultivators that he used to weed his garden.

Hand powered saws, drills, and other tools manned by human power are now collector items. I still have a few of my father's tools he got in GI School after he returned from the second World War. Schools and vehicles are now one in the same venue.

As a kid, when you looked outside a school, there might be a few teacher, cook, or custodian vehicles, but that was about it. Drive around our schools some day and take a look now. Every building has multiple parking lots. I sort of understand the high school, but why are there so many cars at the other elementary schools? Are these kids driving now, too?

I love golf. It has been one of my greatest joys for the better part of the past three decades. I am not very good, but every once in a while, I hit that one shot that makes me feel like I have finally figured out my swing. Reality sets in on the next shot, after I have driven my golf cart to the where I hit the last ball. No one walks on a golf course anymore. Heck you might get run over if you did. Isn't it amazing that a sport that is meant as a form of exercise mixed with pleasure and competition has become a kind of race?

Stop and think of all the buttons in your life. Ask yourself how many of these devices and practices are healthy for you. I am just as bad as anyone. It is for that reason that I can write about this. I am just as bad as you.

We all know of a few people who are thin and healthy.

They are the ones who seem to be able to eat and never gain an ounce. Take a closer look at them. Usually they are the ones who are always busy. They seem to be in perpetual motion. If you look really close, you will see they don't spend much time pushing the buttons of the easy life. Then again, they don't seem to have the physical limitations we button pushers do.