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The problems of the world are exponentially escalating to a point that may be beyond our ability to correct, and to begin to list them is truly frightening. Basically, overpopulation, resulting
in depletion of resources and usable land; the contamination of water and soils; the destruction of the ozone with resultant radiation leak; the return of malaria, typhoid, leprosy, etc.; the
extinction of irreplaceable life forms; and the growing landscape fill of nondecomposing wastes are all too much to comprehend.
The situation is too difficult to dwell upon, too depressing, so we console ourselves with the thought that someone (or some "scientist") is working on solutions, and we don't need to bother ourselves. Maybe some of us take the extreme view that it is already too late and that hopefully we can at least live out our own lives and die before it gets to the point where humans are unable to survive.
You may be wondering what this has to do with bodybuilding or with a leading resource like fitFLEX. Well, it has everything to do with bodybuilding, and its relevance is varied and multidirectional.
Let's begin with the prime aspect of body culture: health. The purpose of bodybuilding is health and a long life-to make one strong and capable of enjoying the beauty of life. Even if we were to look at things in a selfish way, we would need clean water and uncontaminated soils for the production of safe, healthy whole foods. We would need sufficient quantities of nutrients for many of us to realize our goals of size, but even so, the amount of land we contaminate with waste disposal is excessive for our needs.
The total destruction of the ozone would put a real damper on our quest for the perfect tan, and although you may argue that we could obtain a "radical color" from a tanning booth (or even a bottle), who could appreciate it when we could only go out at night-or bundled up in the daylight like a vampire? What diversification of foods could we enjoy when there is almost nothing left alive? What is the purpose of this depressing rumination? What is the direction of this article?
Well, the start of any call to action is with the individual - the individual and his or her mind. (Yet the choice must be that of the individual.) And who would be more ready for a call to action than an athlete, especially a bodybuilder trained in body and mind. Should not a bodybuilder be one of the most prepared for life-a super body and a super mind? A connection between the physical and the mental is constantly strived for at each workout session, resulting in a more unified (and hopefully receptive and harmonious) individual.
This is almost like Nietzsche's "superman," but unlike his philisophical counterpart, or Ayn Rand's objectivist hero, there is need for a human (humane) quality. We must not think only of ourselves, although that is always the beginning. We cannot take forever without the threat of depletion. We must return what we have taken. There is a finite cycle, and it cannot be broken; this is law-natural, pure and simple.
Where do we go from here? Why not bodybuilding? That is commendable. In fact, it is the best way to start. For without a sound mind and body (a harmonious universe) how can we expect to perfect anything else when we are weak and often ill? How can we expect to influence or exemplify if we are unimpressive and unsure?
These are severe analogies, and, of course, not everyone needs to be a Hercules to contribute to the world, nor is every bodybuilder a gargantuan of muscle mixed with Einsteinian intellect. But the striving to better oneself is the root-this is the golden mean of life. In making this decision and sticking to it, we are psychologically bolstering the world-humanity as a whole!
This is why we should not lose faith in our resolve to better ourselves. Even if we never become Olympians, we are increasing our pleasure and enjoyment of life and adding to the betterment of the whole of humanity. Never lose sight of your dream. Each day that you better yourself, your attitude affects those around you.
Don't get caught up in the workout, the gym, the quest for size alone. Strength without intelligence or purpose is of little importance and very often is its own worst enemy. Where would Steve Reeves be if he had not developed his intellect? Or Arnold? Or Dr. Franco Columbu? Or Dr. Fred Hatfield? Do not neglect the mind. Do not neglect the rest of your life or the world. Health and strength are important-but respective and relative to many other things.
Let us make the world a better place through our own health and our quest for health, but let us not leave it up to someone else. We can't get big by letting someone else work out for us, and we can't expect the planet to eradicate the problems we are burdening it with. We are the world! So, in a manner of speaking, we are body-builders for a better world! It starts with the individual and radiates outward. The rest of humanity will follow, even if it be for envy. For who (rationally) does not truly want health and happiness, the necessities for a vibrant life?
In order to eat clean foods, we must produce clean foods. In order to have space to enjoy and a planet to marvel at, we cannot indiscriminately crowd, destroy and neglect. How can we run on the beach, as Steve Reeves or Jack LaLanne did, if it's covered with glass and fast food garbage? We must live an example of health.
It is up to each of us as individuals, and we must each take the responsibility of our actions as seriously as a workout. Promoting organic farming by purchasing organic foods is one way to better our situation. (Even though there may be fraud in the organic food market, not everyone is fraudulent.) If we show our support for organic foods on the whole, they will improve, for we determine the market-we are the buying power.
Even while there is too much garbage in the world, at least we can help by depositing it in its proper place from the beginning-not in storm drains, on the street or on the beach. While walking or running on the beach, for example, we could even go so far as to properly deposit at least one piece of waste left by some uncaring, unthinking person. Consider the impact the sight of some bronzed, godlike bodybuilder, redirecting the misplaced refuse of an unthoughtful beachgoer would have on the uncaring perpetrator. If you wish to look at it in terms of money, think how much you'd save if the city and state did not have to raise taxes to pay the sanitary department that it created to comb the beach with expensive equipment to pick up the garbage if we didn't drop it there in the first place. The beach is only one example; we have seen the same problems in mountains, at lakes and rivers and in rural and urban areas.
There are also many other ways we can help and/or contribute, and we have heard them all. We each know what we can do and must make a decision. We must determine the quality of life we want to live and live in.
The "glory days" of Muscle Beach are now-Reeves, Schwarzenegger, et al! Believe in tomorrow and live in today, for life goes on and on and on... Live well!