On September 11, 2020, as many remember the 2,977 people who died in and after the September 11 attack, CNN headlined: The fires raging in the West are unprecedented. They are also just a glimpse of what climate change has in store. Deaths from the coronavirus continue to rise with more than 900,000 deaths reported worldwide and more than 200,000 deaths in the United States alone. The fact that the United States has just over 4% of the world's population, but we have over 22% of the deaths. It is an indication of our poor physical and political health.
Like the climate crisis, experts warn humans have been the root cause of Covid deaths for many years. Colin Carlson, an environmentalist at Georgetown University, says:
“Our species has relentlessly expanded into previously wild spaces. Through intensive agriculture, habitat destruction and rising temperatures, we have uprooted the planet's animals, forcing them to settle in new, narrower areas that lie on our doorstep. Humanity has held the world's wildlife in an overwhelming embrace - and viruses have broken out.
An objective observer from another planet might well conclude that the United States is in decline and that humans have a desire for death and are in danger of annihilating themselves. How do we make sense of what's going on in the world and what can we do to survive? Scientist Carl Sagan tells us: "You have to know the past to understand the present."
So let's quickly go back to our story. In their book, History of the universe cosmologist Brian Swimme and cultural historian Thomas Berry offer these strengths.
- the the universe has started as a primordial flare approximately 13 billion years ago.
- First life on earth started 4 billion years ago.
- The mammals evolved 216 million years ago.
- The first one human (Homo habilis, Handy, man) evolved 2 million years ago.
- The domestication of plants and animals, what we have called "civilization", began 10,000 years ago.
Those at the top of the hierarchy have seen our history through a distorted, human-centered lens and have come to believe that it is their job to dominate and control nature. Moreover, they imagine that civilization is the pinnacle of human achievement. Finally, despite the obvious problems over the past 10,000 years, they believe that human ingenuity and technology will bring about a better and healthier world.
As Gloria Steinem reminds us, "The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off." I offer my own journey to freedom and anger, in the hope that it will help you find your own path. Looking honestly at humanity today, cultural historian Thomas Berry says the plain truth, which may upset some: “We never knew enough. We were also not intimate enough with all of our cousins from the great family of the earth. We also couldn't listen to the different creatures of the earth, each telling their own story. The time has now come, however, when we will listen, otherwise we will die.
My own awakening started early. I was five years old in November 1949 when my dad overdosed on sleeping pills in response to his growing depression and despair because he couldn't make a living to support his family. I grew up wondering what had happened to my father, if it would happen to me and how I could prevent this from happening to other men and their families. When I held my newborn son, Jemal, in my arms November 21, 1969, I vowed that I would be a different type of father than my father could be to me, and felt, intuitively, that we couldn't heal the world until we could heal men. wounded.
In 1976, I read the book by psychologist Herb Goldberg, The dangers of being a man in which he said,
“The male has paid a heavy price for his male 'privilege' and power. He is disconnected from his emotions and his body. He plays by the rules of the male game plan and with a lemming-like goal, he destroys himself - emotionally, psychologically and physically. "
Since there is a clear link between the emergence of empires in the world and the rise of powerful and wounded men, I was not surprised to learn from the author, Margaret Wheatley, about Sir John Glubb 1976 delivered, The fate of empires and the search for survival in which he studied thirteen empires in the Middle East, Asia and Europe - from Assyria in 859 BCE to modern Britain in 1950. As Wheatley put it, reviewing the findings of Glubb, “It didn't matter where they were, what technology they had or how they wielded power. They all declined at the same stages, and it took ten generations, about 250 years.
When America fought the British and became independent in 1776, the United States emerged as the last empire. Ten generations have now passed and the time of the American Empire is drawing to a close. The term "Nero fiddled with while Rome burned" has become synonymous with doing something trivial and irresponsible in the midst of an emergency. At the end of the American Empire in 2020, 246 years after its launch, Donald Trump tweets as the United States burns and 1,000 Americans die from Covid-19 every day.
In 1987 I met futurist and activist, Riane eisler, shortly after the publication of his book, The chalice and the blade: our history, our future, in which she describes two alternative possibilities for humanity. “The first one, which I call the domineering model,” she said, “is what is commonly referred to as patriarchy or matriarchy - the ranking of half of humanity relative to the other. The second, in which social relations are based primarily on the principle of linking rather than ranking, can be best described as a model of partnership. "
In 1994, my book, The warrior's journey home: heal men, heal the planet, has been published. Author and advisor John Bradshaw called it: "the book for our time. In the book, I was inspired by the work of Buddhist master Chögyam Trungpa who recognized the importance of bringing out the warrior spirit on behalf of humanity.
In his book Shambhala: the sacred path of the warrior, he says,
“Waging war here does not mean waging war on others. Aggression is the source of our problems, not the solution. Here the word 'warrior' is taken from the Tibetan pawo which literally means "one who is courageous". The warrior in this context is the tradition of human bravery, or the tradition of fearlessness. The warrior is not being afraid of who you are.
Warlike practices to survive the end of the empire and the emergence of new partnership societies
All empires have a beginning, a middle and an end. Likewise, all species evolve, have a life cycle and die. We know that dinosaurs once ruled the earth and then became extinct. They had a pretty good run, about 180 million years ago. Humans have been here for about two million years and over 99% of that time have lived as hunter-gatherers, in what Riane Eisler described as "the original partnership societies."
We have only been domesticating plants and animals for ten thousand years. Many, including biologist and author Jared Diamond, call civilization "the worst mistake in the history of the human race." I don't think that our problems were caused by civilization itself, but by the dominant practices that often accompanied it. But clearly, if we're going to survive the next 50 years, let alone 50 million years or more if we get back into balance with Earth, we're going to have to change our ways. So here's what we can do now:
- Support partnership.
“The argument of capitalism against socialism,” says Eisler, “does not recognize that both are rooted in domination. This system has caused more than 6,000 years of suffering and injustice. There is another way - a socio-economic system that supports mutual respect, non-violence, equality, empowerment and benevolence: Partnership. "
- Bring together the masculine and the feminine in a true partnership in helping to heal men.
Men and women suffered within systems of domination, but injured men were the main perpetrators and caused great harm to themselves, women, children, other men and themselves. In my book, 12 rules for good menI offer advice to help men heal our wounds and end cycles of domination, including the following:
- Join a group of men.
- Free yourself from the Man Box.
- Accept the gift of masculinity.
- Acknowledge our anger towards women.
- Make meaningful rites of passage.
- Understand and heal childhood trauma.
- Heal your father's wound.
- Train men and women to lead the partnership revolution.
"We need leaders who recognize the harm done to people and the planet by dominant practices that control, ignore, abuse and oppress the human mind," says Margaret Wheatley, author of Who do we choose to be: face reality, claim leadership, restore sanity. "We need leaders who value self-service, who stand firm in crises and setbacks, and who display an unwavering faith that people can be generous, creative and kind."
Wheatley calls these leaders “warriors for the human spirit”. She says that “Warriors are armed with only two weapons: compassion and insight. They are peaceful warriors, swearing never to use aggression or fear to accomplish their ends. I conduct such trainings which you can learn more about here. Whatever you do, get involved. To sit down and hope that our leaders will save us is naive at best and possibly suicidal. I look forward to your comments. Come visit me here.
About six months before I turned 50, a friend tried to convince me to enter a physique contest. He had just turned 40, and was thrilled to be in the over-40 category because there were fewer guys for him to compete against. He said to me, “Kirk, you can win the over-50 category. There are only a few guys who enter. But, you have no lats or traps—most older dudes don’t. Work on your back and you got it in the bag ! ” I wasn’t too excited to enter a competition with “no competition, ” but I was pretty peeved to hear him say I had no lats or traps. My back was better than that. Although I had no volonté to enter the competition, I started doing more single-arm dumbbell rows to work my back. Now, a few years later, it’s one of my favorite dumbbell exercises. Importantly, I’m not trying to break any records when it comes to weight here, like I might have in my younger days. Quality reps at low weight is the bigger focus.
There are versions of the exercise where you see guys use a bench for support, using a hand or even placing a knee on the bench. These have their merits ( although MH fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C. S. C. S. would rather you not put a knee up ). However, I mostly do the version with no aide from the bench with both feet on the ground as points of contact. This version works your traps, rhomboids, rear delts and rotator cuff muscles, but you also get some core work, something you greatly need as you get older. Remember, though, that the way do the exercise is subjective to your own abilities. If you need some extra support for balance, don’t hesitate to put a hand down.
to set up for my preferred variation, pick up a light dumbbell, especially to start. Stand with your feet in a parallel stance about shoulder-width apart. Hold the dumbbell in a neutral place at your side, as if you would for a hammer curl. Place your free hand behind you, with the back of your hand on the small of your back ( you can also extend your off arm out to balance ). Next, bend over by pushing your butt back and hinging at your waist, with your knees slightly bent. There should be no rounding of the spine, and you should keep your gaze down at the floor in a neutral neck position. Lastly, as you’re hanging onto the dumbbell with your arm pointing to the floor, squeeze your shoulder blades together so your shoulders lock in place and don’t slump.
From this starting position, use your back to pull the dumbbell up without twisting your spine. Pull up as high as you can, pause for a moment at the top and squeeze your shoulder blades together even more. Then release by lowering the dumbbell back to the starting position. to control my pace, I usually sweat up for 2 seconds, squeeze at the top for 2 seconds, then release back to the starting place in 2 seconds.
By doing the dumbbell row unilaterally ( one arm at a time ), you’ll feel yourself being pulled off balance. You must fight with your abs and obliques to maintain balance and stability, which is why I love this exercise so much. Although you won’t be able to load up with as much weight as you would using the bench for stabilization, the extra core work you’ll get makes this version well worth putting in your arsenal of exercises. Try 4 sets of 8 to 10 reps during upper body workouts to get started.
We all know that it’s common for men to skip the doctor until they become sick, injure themselves or are faced with a serious health problem. And a majority of men will postpone seeking care for a few days to see whether they feel any better. It’s the whole ' if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it ' line of thinking.
But there are steps the men in your life can take today to improve their vitality and help prevent health problems down the road. Of course, there are some things that can’t be changed, such as family history and age, but every day choices can have a big impact on their current and future health.
Eating a diet that’s low in fat ( less than 7 percent of kcal should come from saturated fats ), cholesterol, and salt, and packed with fresh fruits and vegetables ( two cups of fruit per day; three cups of vegetables per day for men up to age 50 and two and a half cups for men aged 51 and over ), whole céréales and fiber can help improve your health, prevent heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.
Try to get 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week. Taking a walk, jogging, swimming and mowing the lawn all count. But don’t be a weekend sports warrior. Start slowly if you aren’t normally active and gradually build up. No time ? Research shows that even short bursts of physical activity—as few as 10 minutes of soutenu activity several times a day—can help men improve their health. Talk to your doctor about the right exercise program for you.
It’s important to maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight, especially around the waist, can be hard on your body. Carrying too much body fat forces your heart to work harder and increases your chances of heart disease and stroke, even if you have no other risk factors ! So, try to curb weight gain as you age.
Tobacco smoke contains more than 4, 000 chemicals and is a known cause of cancer. Smoking also increases the likelihood of high blood pressure, heart disease, lung problems and other health problems. And if you think chewing tobacco is safer, think again. Not only is chewing tobacco a known cause of cancer ( carcinogen ), it also contributes to gum disease and tooth loss and may be linked to fertility problems. And, few could argue that chewing and spitting is attractive to a partner. If you smoke or chew, talk to your health care professional about ways to quit. Consider substance nicotinique replacement therapy products that include self-help programs, if appropriate.
Whether it’s pulling out the weed whacker, going for a bike ride or grilling with the neighbors, safety is key. Here are just a few examples : Take care when moving heavy objects. It’s easy to strain yourself when lifting boxes, furniture and other heavy items. Use your knees and legs and not your back for leverage. And ask for help, if you need it. Wear appropriate protective gear for your eyes and ears when using leaf blowers, lawn mowers and other machines at home or work. Excessive exposure to noise is the most common cause of hearing loss. Wear a helmet when you ride a bike or ski and throw on reflective clothing if you go for a run after dark. When grilling, never leave the grill unattended, especially when small children and pets are around, and keep a fire extinguisher handy. The grill should be at least 10 feet from your house or any building. to protect your skin, avoid prolonged exposure to the sun and apply ( and reapply ) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater that provides protection against UVA and UVB rays.