Thursday, September 16, 2021

Taking Nothing for Granted

 It is very easy to get used to anything -- so much so that one takes these things for granted, and no longer envisions what life would be like without them.  The classic example is A Wonderful Life -- of a chance to envision what life and the world would be without them -- and everything one has and takes for granted.  In that way, we often lose sight of the value of all that we already have -- and all the trials ans tribulations it took to get there.

That is the value of writing and record-keeping -- so all of that is not lost, or taken for granted, and we lose that perspective and value such achievements epitomize.  There are reasons why things are as they are, and not otherwise.  If we didn't know what we know now, it is because that is what it took to get here -- and not that we should have known otherwise from the start.  Life and reality doesn't work that way -- it has to get better or it will perish, which doesn't mean it never happened.

Even the mistakes are Nature's way of getting there -- and those who do not learn better, will not survive.  Those are just the facts of life -- and not the political or social correctness that have often proven wrong -- though people of their time were so certain of their "rightness."

That is largely the function of time and age -- that reveals that what we were so certain in youth worked, reveals otherwise in time.  That is the problem with "exercise" and "practices" one were so certain were good in itself forevermore, proves impossible to do in older years.

The classic examples are the power lifts known as the bench press, squat and deadlifts -- named so because it allows one to lift the most weight, as though that was a good in itself -- and would cure everything as long as one continued to do them.  The problem is that by doing them with maximum weights, one eventually gets to the condition in which it is impossible to do any of them anymore -- and any thoughts and efforts in that direction, ceases entirely.

Then the explanation given, is that one is not doing them -- rather than that doing them, got them into that present incapacitated condition.  But at that point, it is a lesson learned too late -- and obviously the solution, is not to do more of them -- or to give up entirely, but to look for some other way of thinking and doing that enables and restores those capacities -- hopefully before the point of no return.  Sadly, many will continue down that path of no redemption and salvation.

That is the essential history of humankind and civilization -- not simply to repeat history, but rewrite it with each iteration.  That doesn't mean merely erasing past mistakes -- but actually learning from them -- and keeping those records intact so one accurately knows where one has already been -- and can go on to explore new paths, and go where they've never gone before.  But one will never know that if they erase all evidence of all their past mistakes -- as well as achievements as the milestones for where they've been.  For this to have immense value, it must be as complete and accurate as possible -- and not doctored to only tell the story one now wants to believe about their infallibility.

In that way, it is not possible to ever learn from one's mistakes -- and that is the repetition of them -- rather than the possibility of discovering something new and unprecedented.  The great problem of this age, as well as every other, is the limits to human functioning and productivity -- not only among the young and able, but more importantly, among the increasing numbers and proportion of those reaching advanced ages -- but in poor and declining abilities.  How do we change that? -- beyond the promises of miracle drugs -- and other innumerable commercial ventures promising to deliver those results?

The answer lies within.  That's what every wise person has said.  But what does that mean?  That means for any problem or difficulty, the solution is the obvious -- but never questioned, because it is always taken for granted that one knows what they are doing -- with absolute certainty, if there are any doubts remaining, all that is required, is to apply more brute force to make it work.  And for most of history up to then, that was the answer to almost all questions -- more brute force was the answer -- even if it crippled one more and more.  Somehow, some way, persisting doggedly in that manner, would make everything turn out right in the end -- and so the problem remained, whether one would live that long to see it happen.

Most, obviously, ran out of time -- and in many cases, mercifully so.  The path of deterioration can only travel so long before life is no longer viable and sustainable -- but is that how it must end?  We don't have too many examples of it not ending that way.  And that is what we would all like to know -- before taking it for granted that it is a foregone conclusion that must end that way.  That is the turning point -- at which one is determining that one is improving, or has irreversibly gone into decline -- the demarcation between vibrancy and hopeless aging.

Can we still find a way to win?  The answer is obvious -- instead of raising the bar further, we should be lowering it to remain active.  That is a very difficult thing for someone to do who has only been taught one thing in life -- and that is to make life more difficult and complicated as their competitive advantage.  That is what athletic competition largely conditions one to.  That is the instinctive response of most to demonstrate their competitive advantage -- to do what no one else can do -- rather than reveal the manner in which everyone else can also do -- as the universal wisdom and validity for what truly works.

If nobody else can do it, I'd propose that it doesn't work for anybody -- and not that it has to be the new standard of fitness for everyone.  Yet that is precisely the approach and mindset of most fitness "experts," and self-proclaimed authorities on these matters.  What everybody can do, is obviously a universal truth on the matter.  At such a suggestion, many will lose interest -- because it is not something that they know and everybody else does not.  Fitness is not only what you know and nobody else does, but what everybody knows to be true -- but just never thought about it.