More Real Issues

by Terry Plotkin

This is another in my series about what wasn’t talked about during the election season (That lasted 2 years!). You know, the kinds of things that actually matter to the health of the people both living and those yet to be born, and the planet they will inhabit.


Americans, who are 5% of the world population, use 25 % of its energy. Thus we are the most complicit country of all in our contribution of carbon dioxide and global warming. Yet, we seem to have no compunction to do anything about it. But if you think that our energy usage is extreme, check out American dominance in the domain of painkillers. The same 5% use 80% of the world’s painkillers. You might think that by using all that energy and all the comforts that provides that we would need fewer pain pills not more. So? Why are we in so much pain? Is it because of our poor health habits?  It is well documented that we eat too much food and that what we eat is not healthy. And, due to our heavy use of energy, we have become sedentary creatures. Obese people, something that America is loaded with, have bad knees, hips, and backs from supporting so much extra weight.  But rather than face the problem we take painkillers and keep on doing that which causes us pain. The next time you hear some leader say that children need to spend more time in school studying math and science throw a baloney sandwich (on white bread) at him. Why don’t they just say what this implies – to hell with physical activity, teaching about good eating, training people how to take care of their bodies, how to stretch, build muscle, and to find joy in exercise. This vital subject of being physically fit and living a balanced life has enormous implications for the nation and will contribute to our decline if not remedied. You think this might at least be a topic for discussion.

One Response to “More Real Issues”

  1. I muse:

    There is only one family in the world.

    The father is at times
    a brute – willfully ignorant, selfish, and blind.
    On better days (if they exist)
    he is protective, hard-working, and gentle.

    The mother who is responsible for love
    bears that burden
    sometimes without complaint
    other times
    especially when her burden is great
    bitterness and despair devour
    her nurturing power.

    The son might grow
    into a powerful and good man
    but uninitiated into manhood
    his adolescence
    follows him to the grave.

    The daughter who is the emerging blossom
    radiates nascent love
    but her growth is a fragile thing
    subject to tragedy
    like dropped crystal that shatters
    her dreams.

    Such is this one and only
    family of the world.
    Great promise.
    Greater risk.

    To think there are many families,
    each different,
    is to miss the point.
    To dwell on one brute
    or many,
    to mourn the loss
    of innocence or wisdom,
    to seek many answers
    when there is only one,
    all this is folly and conceit.

    I begin and end with a plea.
    Simplify in all things.
    Recognize that problems
    and answers
    arise from one place.
    The fragile human heart.

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