I am a big fan of the old school way of life: a deep connection to and respect of nature with simple philosophies and lifestyles. I think the race to modernize and advance everything has gotten a little out of hand and that much of what ails us can be improved by reconnecting to an older way of life.
But here’s the thing: my appreciation of natural and historical ways doesn’t mean I want to return to caveman times, nor do I have a fantasy that it was easy or that we even could live that way if we wanted to. Often an unfortunate side effect of expressing an appreciation of ancestral habits (a.k.a. going Paleo) is that people think it means I’m shunning science, technology and modern advancements. That’s not the case by any means. I’m simply saying that we take clues from our history, heritage and existence, then learn from them and work them into our modern day lives. Suggesting we spend more time barefoot in the grass doesn’t mean I’m condemning shoes or think we should never wear them. It means that I think we all benefit from spending more time connected to the earth through our feet and should give some good thought to what shoes can and can’t do for us. Suggesting we eat more natural foods is simply an encouragement to minimize processed food and empty calories, not a call for banning everything agriculture created the past 10,000 years. Suggesting we trust the body and not try to outsmart it isn’t a claim that every medical advancement is worthless, it’s simply an observation that older health and wellness philosophies are worth exploring.
I am a huge fan of civilization and the advancements humans have made but I think there have been some unintended consequences from the runaway train of modernism. This rapid onslaught of technology is an absolute marvel that allows us to have security, safety and comfort and makes life much easier. The problem is that we haven’t really considered what we may be giving up to get all these great things: our health and wellness.
We have reached a point where many people just don’t function well, aren’t happy and our Earth and fellow creatures are suffering and dying off all too quickly. Since we have arrived at this point via the modern mindset the engrained answer is to look to science and technology to solve these problems but so far this hasn’t worked very well across the board.
Similarly, the answer isn’t for all of us to ditch modern life, run off into the woods and hunt squirrels. That would solve very little and most of us couldn’t handle it anyways. In fact, no one really knows what the answer is but I’m going to take a wild guess that it lies somewhere in the middle.
As is often the case, I think progress starts with all of us taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture. Hopefully, this can help us realize that we are still very much ancient creatures being catapulted along for a scientific ride that we don’t have a good answer to how it will end. Who are we, where have we been and what lessons can we learn from the past? There is so much wisdom we have gathered over our history, all I ask is we consider the benefit of reconnecting with it.
Again, I’m not I’m not suggesting that we live in the forest but keep the iPads, I am suggesting that we live as we are now but bring back some more natural and approaches to health. I’m confident that people will rarely be harmed by eating more whole foods, moving their body more, sleeping better, getting outside, connecting with other people, having more fun and occasionally unplugging from technology. The answer lies in the synergy between old and new, not choosing one over the other.
The answer to our problems isn’t to go back 10,000 years. It’s to learn from the last 10,000 years and see what we can apply to our lives today. Technology gives us new solutions and treats symptoms but rarely fixes problems. Nature gives us old solutions and often helps us fix the new problems we have created but isn’t a panacea. Let’s use both to make the next 10,000 years a naturally modern success.
Thanks for reading, have a great day!