Reading a post by my wife about Endurance I was moved to make a comment, which in turn became more of a post. For those who are interested please read my wife’s blog post and find my response below:
Sometimes I wonder why people bother with life as it just seems to get harder and harder. If we could all listen to ourselves more we’d live a more enriched, spiritual and healthy life.
I’m struck with the similarities here in terms of our attitude to the natural world. As a species we are pushing the world to the limits of its endurance and we are seeing the signs; flooding, droughts, extinction, decline. Perhaps we need to stand back, enjoy nature and let it rest… end our endless progress. We must allow nature to endure in respect to the second definition.
There is a connection here. Humans, although modern life may not allow it/agree, are hardwired to be outside. Study after study has shown that mental and physical well being are greatly enhanced from being in a countryside setting. Indeed in a recent study comparing the same amount of exercise done in urban and rural locations (actually on a treadmill with picture projected on wall), scientists found that exercise in an urban setting actually increased the participants blood pressure. Being outdoors and engaging with nature can help you endure in both senses of the word. Firstly, it allows you to stop, to escape urban life and to reenter it (if you have to) fresher and more ready for the challenges life throws you. Secondly, it actually improves your mental and physical health and you are statistically more likely to live longer.
It seems obvious to me that in order for our species to endure in the second sense of the word, we must take more care to ensure that our world and the nature we share it with ‘remain in existence; last.