Friday, August 17, 2018

Breathing Better

A hot topic going around in the "self-help" circuit, is teaching people how to breathe -- as though that was not a natural, and even autonomic function for most sentient beings.  Invariably, that is what every living being must do -- and not that it is optional -- even from birth, or as a few will claim, becomes perverted soon after.  And thus the need for every individual to undergo retraining in this vital function -- rather than that it should be the least of one's concerns -- just like the heartbeat.  Of course if one is intent on selling a heartrate monitor to every living person, one will convince everyone of the importance of knowing momentarily exactly how one is doing at any and every movement -- as though having that knowledge, conveyed great advantage in the struggle for survival.

That being said, how we breathe, is not as important as what we breathe -- because while it might be the same for everyone in that room, how each reacts individually to that universal, may be entirely differently.  That is particularly so with those who have allergies and other respiratory difficulties -- and a very simple and easy way to observe this in oneself, is simply to purify the air as much as possible -- not using very expensive and sophisticated equipment, but actually using the most simple and basic -- of the readily available anti-microbial  (doctor's) masks one can get at most well-stocked stores.

Even the cheapest available, will claim to be able to filter out 99% of the bacteria, viruses, mold spores, mildew, allergens, dust, dust mites, human and pet dander, and particulates from combustions -- and the slightly more expensive ones with activated charcoal, are even more effective at eliminating odors and fumes.  The practically almost universal availability of these antibacterial masks, make it the first line of defense for those with chronic or acute respiratory problems.  It is tantamount to wearing an air purifier -- powered simply by one's own breathing.  It is as effective as any costly and often noisy, mechanical and electrical air purifier -- with virtually the same effectiveness, though certainly a lot more convenient as needed, or preferred.

For those who are really serious about changing the world -- nothing makes a greater impact on one's personal environment than the simple use of these devices -- which are not simply a modern invention, but go back as long as people sought to protect themselves from hostile conditions.  That might have been the dust from the hot, dusty desert -- or at the other extreme, warming the bitter cold winter air as it entered one's nasal passages.  Those are the obvious conditions such accessories would convey an immediate advantage -- but in today's world, the assaults and dangers may be less visible and obvious -- unless there is obvious thick smoke, fumes and smog around us -- in which case, many are seen with these protective masks as standard wear.

The hardest thing to see, is what is all around us -- like the air we breathe -- some easier than others.  A few seem to have unexplained difficulties for no obvious, apparent reasons -- usually caused by that individual's adverse reaction to something in the air we all breathe.  Those are attributed to "allergies" -- which we all have to some extent or another, and to different abilities of tolerance.  Some will continue to inflict that difficulty on themselves despite the well-known cause for that individual -- regarding that as the cost of the choices they've made -- to keep a pet they know they are allergic to, or have their sleep disrupted by a person whose snoring is due to such constriction in their air ways as they sleep.

Many of these respiratory and breathing difficulties, could be first screened by the use of an antimicrobial mask -- that eliminates 99% of the impurities and irritants -- and then go from there, to see if there is something more systemically wrong with that individual.  Included among that, is the conclusion that one needs to learn how to breathe better -- because first and foremost is the more important consideration, of what exactly is the quality of the air one is breathing. 

It is like the quality of lighting -- that most will dismiss as being equal, when in fact, as in most things, quality and not simply quantity, makes the difference.  That is the advantage touted in full-spectrum lighting -- when one has most of the benefits of the sun, while not producing the negative side-effects -- while one is at it.  Some light, though many can see by it, is not of sufficient quality to produce the healthful benefits and stimulation of full-spectrum lighting, which notably produces growth even in plants.  Not all light has that effect.

Thus as we move more into a future of artificially created environments, one can custom-design many of the inputs that formerly were left to chance and good luck -- in evolving an optimal environment for every individual.  But that has to be done by each individual -- and not someone generalizing for the masses, with an eye on cost-containment as the overriding principle.  That becomes the beginning from where each will have to optimize those conditions to their own functioning and tolerances.

A few may conceivably be able to live next to the freeway -- while most would find it intolerable, unpleasant, and stressful.  Studies are presently underway that proves that living next to the freeway -- is not as preferable and healthful as living in some pristine forest or at the sea -- but the commute would be prohibitive.  So one has to choose one's poison -- in the smorgasbord of choices available to most people today.  Most are not even aware that they're making these choices -- and think these decisions are made by a few for everyone -- if not rightly for everyone.

But some may find the room too warm for them, while others think it much too cool, and a remarkable few are not bothered (or so they say) with the most noxious odors that pollute the very air they breathe.  Such people should not be appointed to the air quality board for determining that for everyone else.  Rather, such jobs should be assigned to the most sensitive and aware -- to whom such differences are apparent and obvious.  That is to say, the most discriminating and discerning among us.    These are the modern day equivalents of the "canary in the coal mine" -- who ensure the lives of all the others -- as the first line of defense and detection.

They are literally, the first responders -- the first to know that something is amiss, and to respond appropriately -- rather than those in denial that anything can be wrong.  Those latter would be the rearguard -- the last to know, and the last to defend the status quo -- while the rest have long moved on to safer ground.  It literally takes all kinds -- to ensure the survival of the corps (species) -- or critical mass.  That is how societies survive -- and evolve -- to higher ground.  Each hopes to play their part -- in the greater purpose that is survival at the highest level.  That is the actualization of human being and purpose.  It's true of all species -- whether they realize it or not.

Evolution is not only biological and individual but also cultural -- in the strategies societies adapt and adopt.  Some flourish, and many die out.  Not all will survive equally, indiscriminately.  Choices have to be made -- and some will be better than others.  That is the reality -- that makes some lives better than others, and most importantly, better than it would have been for every individual.

At the end, it may seem like big differences -- but began invariably, with the smallest attention to detail -- that adds up and compounds over time.  That's when life and species seem to diverge -- some preferring to remain as they always have been, while a few decide to chart a new course -- and if successful, go on to experience unimaginable success, they hardly seem to be the same species.  They certainly have different prospects for the future.

While one is breathing as much toxic fumes as they can tolerate -- the other is purifying that very same atmosphere into life-enhancing health, well-being and functioning.  To say that they are reducing their chances for illness is understating the obvious.  Ostensibly, they live in the same world -- but with such a world of differences -- largely self-chosen, if only they knew all the possibilities.

That's no longer simply a matter of education -- but 21st century human's ability to learn what they need to know -- as they need to know it, when they are prepared to do something about it.  So it is not just one thing -- but everything they know that is rethought, re-examined and renewed -- every day of their lives, and that is what keeps them alive, vital, growing -- until the end.