Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Pain And The Parking Lot

Last evening my son cooked an amazing yet simple Indian meal of daal and rice, loaded with some of the wonderful spices that I bring back from India. The flavors were rich, the meal was filling, and the company was wonderful!
At one point my son remarked that he wished we had some yogurt to balance out the hot spices. I replied that when I am in India, I usually add fresh buffalo-milk yogurt to my daal if it is too hot for my American palate.

As I reflected on that conversation at dinner, I began to think about our society, and how we’ve become a people who are quick to find something to take the edge off of the things that cause us discomfort. Experiencing pain? Take a pain-killer. Ate too much? Take an antacid. Have to go up a flight of stairs? Take the elevator. Clothes too tight? Buy bigger clothes.

Even in the parking lot of our favorite store we will drive around looking or wait for a parking space near the door, rather than park farther away and walk a few more steps. (Advantages to parking away from the door: The exercise is good for us, less stress than searching for a “better parking space”, less chance of someone dinging our car door because few people park away from the door, we usually make it inside the store quicker than if we sat and waited for a space.)

We do these things to ease our discomfort. But, we forget that pain is our bodies way of warning us. Fever is our bodies way of killing germs. Tight clothes is our bodies way of telling us we are overeating.

The multi-billion dollar drug industry doesn't want us to believe this. The food industry has convinced us that we need to eat what they are selling. Our comfortable lifestyles would have us prefer the easy way, instead of the way that would most benefit us.

May I challenge us to think twice before reaching for the _________ (enter your medication of choice). Evaluate your pain, and do what is necessary to prevent it. Think twice before pushing the elevator button. Consider the benefits of walking up a few stairs. And the next time you pull into a parking lot, choose a space further from the door and enjoy the short walk!

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