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I keep track of ideas for blog posts to write a later date.  The fun part is when I go back at look the idea, I often surprise myself with how they insightful they are.  But I don’t remember coming up with it!

This is one of those.

Passengers in a cab watch one of Brazil

Photo courtesy of National Geographic by John Stanmeyer

I read a National Geographic article about hot the birth rate in Brazil has lowered significantly in one generation (http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/09/girl-power/gorney-text).  One of the theories is that the TV novelas (like soap operas) are influencing the women to have fewer children.

The article points to a variety of other reasons as well, but this one reason sparked something in me.

People should use public figures and movies to create social change – not laws.  Maybe we already do that – but the topics that are highlighted are changing society in the wrong way (i.e. entertainment magazine constantly highlighting volatile relationships of the rich and famous).  And I am not suggesting that censor laws be created that dictate what messages are produced – but rather each individual find a way to highlight the message they want to see repeated in society.

And politicians need to be advocates, gather weight and influence society – without imposing.  Imagination and understanding need to be the tools of the trade.  Not criticism and fear.  I don’t really understand or get wrapped up in US politics, but I do like Obama.  And I like him for these exact reasons – when he speaks, he exudes empathy and influence.  I recognize there are speech writers and attacks ads in his campaign, but at face value he is a captivating person who will change the world for the better.

There are lots of people out there who do exactly what I am talking about.  http://www.thedailylove.com and http://www.Ashoka.org would be two examples that I am drawn to of people/organizations who use all their genius to create positive momentum.

And once you start focusing on that kind of media, your view of the world starts to change.  So how can we make amazing futures, great role models, fulfilling paths to success the stuff we see in the supermarket checkout?  What if that was the mainstream news.  What if the politicians lauded each others accomplishments and worked to learn from each other.  What if the next hit reality show showed how successful marriages made it work?  Or how creative people have influenced changes in the system?  If it became the ‘must see’ show, book and movie – what would change in our society?

I can see my blog evolving into some kind of social commentary.  Not sure if I enough to say to keep that stream forever, but for now I like it.  It is just so interesting to see how ourselves, our communities and our countries have evolved.

I guess I would call myself a runner.  I did track pretty competitively as a teenager and I am currently training to definitely run a 1/2 marathon, and hopefully run a full marathon next year.  However, as my daughter bluntly pointed out, I spend most of my time jogging slowly – not running!

Everyone knows this: eat well and get regular exercise and you will be healthy.  Rocket science!  Any of us who have tried regular exercise, know it can be hard to get out the door, but afterwards we feel great.  And if we are in a rhythm of regular exercise and eating well – we feel great, more energy, healthier, all that stuff.

So why is it that bad habits pull people in like gravity?  Why does my brain say ‘I am tired, stop running now’ all the time, when if I keep going I will be better off in so many ways?

For me it is the great mystery of our generation.  Laziness is easy and we are so attracted to it.  Eating is so gratifying and we are programmed to love salt, sugar and fat.  How is this an evolutionary advantage?  It is more like a self-destruct mechanism…

I generally like people and can find good in everyone.  This is perhaps my darkest opinion of humankind.  I think it will be impossible to get millions of people to wake up and take responsibility for the state of their bodies.  Something in human nature is working against us in this one regard.

Can you imagine if people had to run and play everyday.  What if it was a priority on everyone’s list all the time, naturally, like sleep.  But most of us, anywhere in the world, given the opportunity, would prefer to sit down more.

What if eating past full and binging on junk food was naturally repulsive.  And lemons were more delicious then sugar.

There are a lot of problems in our world that are really complex, both how they evolved and how to possibly solve them.  But this one is a done deal – our brain is old fashioned, with instincts that completely work against us in an efficient, modern society.  To be healthy, an individual needs to put in a concerted effort for their entire life to work against those instincts. The cards are stacked against us.

What do you think?

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