The name of this blog, Rainbow Juice, is intentional.
The rainbow signifies unity from diversity. It is holistic. The arch suggests the idea of looking at the over-arching concepts: the big picture. To create a rainbow requires air, fire (the sun) and water (raindrops) and us to see it from the earth.
Juice suggests an extract; hence rainbow juice is extracting the elements from the rainbow, translating them and making them accessible to us. Juice also refreshes us and here it symbolises our nutritional quest for understanding, compassion and enlightenment.

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Forgetting How To Walk

For most of us, we are born with two legs and feet.  The anatomical purpose of these is to allow us to stand upright and to walk.  However, we seem to be in danger of using our legs and feet only to manipulate the pedals in a car.

In the nineteenth century it was not uncommon for people to walk up to twenty miles (30+ km) to visit friends and family or to attend a show or spectacle they were interested in.  Within just a generation the number of hours spent walking by children has decreased from 1.5 hours to a little over an hour.  How many children walk to school in today's world?

Amongst adults too the amount of walking is minimal.  For most in the western world the daily average is around 3 to 4 km per day.  And remember, this figure includes walking around the home: to and from the bathroom, the kitchen or the car garage.  It includes walking out to the post box or to put the rubbish bin out.  It is not much.

On the other hand, around one-in-five household car trips in the western world are less than 2km in length, and fully two-thirds are less than 6km in length.

Are we forgetting how to walk?

This forgetting comes at a price.
  • The proportion of people who are overweight or obese is surging ever higher.
  • Air pollution from motor vehicles contributes to the premature deaths of hundreds of people each year.
  • Motor vehicles are a major contributor to atmospheric carbon emissions.
  • Interaction between neighbours and communities is limited when we forget how to walk.
  • Contact with nature is also reduced by spending our time inside vehicles and not walking.
  • One and a quarter million people are killed worldwide each year in road deaths.
Ironically, many attempt to get fit or lose weight by going to a gym and exercising on a treadmill.  During the 19th century being put on a treadmill was a form of punishment.  One famous victim of this form of punishment was Oscar Wilde who was sentenced to imprisonment in 1895 for his sexual orientation.  He wrote of this experience in The Ballad of Reading Gaol:
We banged the tins, and bawled the hymns
And sweated on the mill,
But in the heart of every man
Terror was lying still.”
Is the modern form of the treadmill an improvement on that terror?  It is a treadmill, it is not walking.

This world is a wonderful place, full of beauty and splendour.  What better way to experience it than by walking on a beach, in the bush, along a leafy forest trail, amongst a glade of wild flowers, or in the local park.

Lets do so, before we forget how.

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