Recent Observations: A Christmas Challenge, How to Save the Earth, and other Life Lessons

by Dr. Christopher on November 30, 2010

Are you Smiling Through the Phone?

Did you ever realize how pleasant it is to talk to someone on the phone who treats you as a human being?  It makes you feel warm inside. 

Lesson: Smile when you talk on the phone.  They can tell that you’re smiling.  And you just might make someone’s day!

The Difference Between Conventional Wisdom & Your Grandmother’s Wisdom

Most Americans have lost the wisdom that accumulates over generations.  I’m not talking about the conventional wisdom that is passed on by the media, government run institutions, or large corporations, but wisdom that typically runs in families from specific countries like Italy, Poland, or Mexico. 

My Babci tried to teach me as much as she could before she died. Digging through our kitchen cabinet almost a year after her death, I found a jar of teabags. 

I love tea.  It comforts me in a way that melts stress.  So I made a cup.  I took a sip.  I can’t think of words to describe how hellish it tasted.  At the bottom of the jar was a piece of paper with “wormwood” on it.  With such horrendous flavor, a tea called “wormwood” MUST have some health-promoting properties.  Surely enough,Wikipedia reveals that “wormwood tea” reveals that it has beneficial properties when consumed.  Despite the appalling flavor, I finished the cup.

Lesson: As crazy as your grandparents may be, the fact that they made it to 70, 80, or 90 years of life is proof that they’re doing something right.  Your grandparents had grandparents who had grandparents who had grandparents, and so on.  Listen to them.  Wisdom accumulates over time … as long as it’s not overruled by the almighty dollar as conventional wisdom is.

Poop is Not Garbage

Poop is “nature’s fertilizer.”  My grandfather uses to buy truckloads of manure to fertilize his lawn.  Although it is an animal’s waste, the earth uses it help plants grow.  In this context, it is part of the cycle of life on this planet. 

When a dog poops in today’s world, we put it in a plastic bag, tie it as tightly as possible so the environment can’t get to it, and throw it in the garbage where it can collect in a waste facility.  Waste facilities typically don’t have much organic bacteria to degrade the poop, so it sits there. 

I’m not suggesting that in urban cities, we allow poop to collect on whatever little pieces of green there are.  Perhaps we need to rethink our strategy and designate 2×2 acre plot of land where dogs can run free and poop wherever they want.  I wonder if this type of mentality could let the Earth flourish?

Lesson: Let your dog poop in the woods or on some dirt where it will be out of the way.  You’re fertilizing the Earth and saving your back the trouble of picking up poop.  Everybody wins.

Emotional Baggage like the Rising Dead

Ever realize why people choose to be buried in an open casket?

It’s because your deceased family member loves you.  Forcing yourself to see that a loved one is now “no longer with you” is the beginning of the grieving process.  In order to be a whole, healthy, and happy person again, you need to grief over suffering in order to come out whole on the other side.

Always difficult to do, some choose to skip their loved one’s funeral.  This individual refuses to let any thoughts of their loss into their mind.  Every so often, memories of that family member will rise out of the grave to haunt this person, until they throw enough dirt at it that it gets buried again, but only temporarily.  The memories are strong.  And they keep chasing this person until the loss is confronted.

Facing someone’s death is never fun.  Neither is a break-up.  But they both need to be faced and worked through.

Lesson: In suffering lies growth.  In the dirt lies a brutal experience.  But once you come out the other side, facing your loss, you can see it for what it was.  Great memories, lessons learned, and growth into the person you have become.  Face it … and let go.

Reflection on the Holidays: The 25 Days Til Christmas Challenge

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the time in between gives us a great opportunity to reflect on life. 

What is the purpose of Thanksgiving?  What is the purpose of Christmas?  What do they mean to you?  Is it just a time to see family, or do you respect the birth of Jesus Christ?  At Crossfit Morristown, we use the holidays as a means for growth.  Not just the health of our bodies, but also our minds and spirits.

That’s why we’re kicking off the “1st Annual 25 Days Til Christmas Challenge” over at Crossfit Morristown starting tomorrow (December 1)!  Only gym members can win prizes.  But I encourage all of you to reach outside of your comfort zone and try each daily challenge, starting December 1. 

Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you for it!

What have you learned this week?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie November 30, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Thanks Chris…

Christopher December 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm

Your welcome Julie : )

Dawn December 4, 2010 at 10:19 pm

An interesting collection of thoughts.

I have to join in on the “dog poop” one. I live in a semi rural environment so try to time our dog’s walk so that he can reach the first lot of bushes bordering a wilderness area so that he can “go”. If he can’t wait, then I have to pick up on the neighbor’s lawn. But if he can reach the bushes, I figure, it is out of the way, no one is going to walk in it and within a few weeks will be part of the soil again.
Dawn recently posted..Mutaflor

Christopher December 5, 2010 at 10:52 am

Dawn, writing so much about probiotics and bacteria, you understand how integral they are to the cycle of life well. One reader (Thanks Amy) reminded me that scientists say that life on earth could not go on without bacteria for the role they play in recycling nature’s wastes…but it could go on without humans. Makes me think, how badly are we scarring the earth right now?

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