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economic disasters
balanced diet
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daily basis
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Our Ancestors Were Better Off Than Us Why?
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Our Ancestors Were Better Off Than Us Why?

Do you think our ancestors were healthier than we are? I don't mean the Industrial Age ancestors. They were a lot worse off, especially in the big cities with all the smoke and grimy dust they breathed on a daily basis. No, I mean those who lived thousands of years ago, the hunter-gatherers.

Their lifespans were short, but their lives were indescribably hard. Actually, a good example which I know from somewhere -- a sort of pearl of useless wisdom, the average life of a bobcat in the wilds is about 12 years. However, a man kept one as a pet, and it lived until it was 30 years old.

Every human being has basic needs, like exercise, a properly balanced diet, the right amount and quality of sleep, social interaction, productive work and times when you don't work, but relax. Now, our old hunter-gatherers work mainly consisted of finding enough food. They had a very high protein diet, and exercise wasn't through choice, but inevitable.

Then, about 10,000 years ago, they started to settle down and grow crops. They became farmers. They enjoyed a more balanced diet, still had plenty of exercise, proper sleep and were altogether healthier than we are today, generally speaking.

Today, we live in pretty grim times. Mental illness has gone through the roof. There's the fear of terrorism, global economic disasters, uncertainty over employment. Fifty years ago, you could take a job and be pretty much assured of keeping that job all your life. Today? You could easily take a job one week and find yourself out on the street again next week.

A great number of us live into our seventies and beyond, but a lot of that is because we take handfuls of pills every day to keep ourselves alive. The hunter-gatherer didn't need pills to keep him going, or to deal with stress.

Mind you, it's fair comment that those medications weren't around in those days, but generally speaking, do they really do us a lot of good today? There are so many side effects, including death, that you have to wonder whether it's all worth it anyway.

A few years ago, various grave sites were discovered in the South of England, dating to about the year 1000. The scientists imagined that all these people would be small and not very well developed. Nothing could have been farther from the truth. They were strapping people, most with excellent teeth and on average, bigger than we are today.

It looks as though our ancestors were better off than us. Why? I do hope that people won't be too cross with me for saying this, but the basic answer is -- Greed. Take a walk around your house. Do you really need all those rooms, all that furniture? Is it vital to have two cars?

Of course, the way we live today, yes it is. The father has to go to work, probably the mother as well, and on her return she has to shuttle children around to piano lessons, soccer, all-in wrestling, or whatever else they're involved in.

Don't you wish you could stand in the middle of the road one day and just yell STOP? Everybody and everything would come to a screeching halt, and we'd all start again.

Cell phones mean that business can be conducted 24/7 and what's the result? Stress. Stress in its killer mode. And why conduct business 24/7? To make more money. Is it desperately needed? Probably not, except to buy a bigger car, which is -- what? GREED.

I do hope this article has been of some help.


Street Talk

  

Thank you very much for your kind comments about my article. You're absolutely right in all you say, provided the paradox of technology doesn't continue in the same direction, making us work harder and ever harder, which I fear it's doing at the moment. Thank you so much again, Every good wish, Mike

Reply
  about 9 years ago
C4rmen  

We sure are living in interesting times. I think as a species we have a great opportunity to learn to deal with stress in ways that transcend immediate fear. If we can do it in our own lives, we then show others how to and spread that knowledge. You make a good point about our ancestors. I think physically all their needs were provided for by default. I guess we can look at it as those we have good heritage in our blood lines :)

Reply
  about 9 years ago
AJ  

Interesting article, Mike. Thanks for researching and sharing it!

Reply
  about 9 years ago
  

Joan, Shawn and Kevin, thank you so much for your comments about my article. I'm really very grateful. Every good wish, Mike

Reply
  about 9 years ago
Joan S  

Everything has gotten too complicated. I liked it better when things were simple. But then again, we didn't realize it when things were less hectic. That was interesting about bodies a thousand years ago. Good article Mike.

Reply
  about 9 years ago

What food for thought. good one John

Reply
  about 9 years ago

Good article John.....So many things we see as necessities now were viewed as luxuries not too many years ago...

Reply
  about 9 years ago
Barbara9  

very nice article

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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