Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Your Mind is Getting Fat, Exercise It


Hello there, I figured I’d start this off with a little bio: My name is Chuck, and I’m a male nursing student. I hate talking about myself so instead of continuing to introducing myself in type (which I think is one of the most awkward things ever from the view of the writer), I’m just going to say thanks for reading and that I hope to provide you with some material to think about today.
                A few weeks ago I was taking care of an elderly gentleman in his late 80s (I’ll call him George) and he said something to me that got me thinking: He told me that out of all his ailments (and unfortunately they were many), “nothing hurts more than losing my mind and my memories.” I honestly had nothing to say to this as not only was this information a little out of the blue, but it is also kind of depressing. Upon thinking about it though, we are ALL losing our minds, and faster than George is.
                Human beings right now live in a world unlike any other point in history in terms of being physically fit and the emphasis on being so. Yes, I know full well that obesity is an epidemic but look around you: Billboards marketing the best gyms; athletes that are faster and stronger than ever; Vogue telling us that thin is the new fat and anorexia is the way to go to achieve happiness and acceptance. The pressure to keep our bodies in maximum shape has one side effect in particular that nobody is talking about: We are forgetting about exercising our minds, and subsequently we are losing them…and it goes deeper than our worry about physical appearance.
                Today instead of remembering a phone number we have cell phones, instead of having to remember lyrics to a song we just carry the song around in our pockets and play it whenever we want. Instead of picturing a memory in our heads we bring up 10 pictures of that moment on our iPad from every possible angle so we don’t miss ANYTHING, because God forbid we use our imagination and our relationship with the people/things of that memory as subtext or influence when remembering it. Don’t even get me started with Google and the inability for people to do proper research or talk to a professor on a subject they are writing/learning about.
                So what, right? I mean, this is the world we live in, the world we love. Instant gratification. We have everything at our fingertips and we want for little. However awesome and progressive it seems in human nature, we are slowly losing our minds and unless we put emphasis on working them out like we do our bodies we are going to be George by the time we are 50. The only thing is, unlike George we will have only ourselves to blame because we didn’t work our mind.
                So how the hell do you work out your mind? Start by putting down your phone and looking around you. People watch. Read a book. Go to a library. Talk to your grandparents. Go out and enjoy nature WITHOUT a camera and dare yourself to remember what you saw. Sing a song without singing along. STAY HOME from the gym and write down the reasons why you are doing so: because there are more important things in life than the physical things. Your mind is priceless; don’t forget about it before you’re forced to. 

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