By Kenneth Justice
What does it mean to have a disorder?
According to a psychotherapist I had coffee with recently, “children who are hyperactive should be tested for having ADD or ADHD”.
“And how do you identify that the child is hyperactive?” I asked
“Well, children who have a difficult time sitting at their desk in school, or staying focused on the task at hand would be examples of hyperactivity” she said
To which I ask….REALLY???
For years I have been challenging the way we live in Western Society; I think many elements of our culture suck;
—-) Too much time is spent in front of the television
—-) Too much time is spent in automobiles
—-) Too many doctors are prescribing pharmaceutical drugs like candy
—-) Not enough time is spent focusing on healthy eating habits
—-) Not enough time is spent walking
—-) Not enough time is spent questioning the status quo we’ve been taught to believe
My latest series of articles have been focusing on mental illness because it’s an easy format to use in questioning the lies that we have been taught to believe. For instance, why should little boys or girls be forced to sit at desks for hours on end? Is that healthy? Perhaps little boys and girls were meant to run around all day and use up all that energy and creativity that is bursting beneath the surface. Children love to explore their environment by walking through the woods, turning over rocks in the river or creek, and climbing trees.
Why are there practically NO schools that have ever questioned the logic in forcing elementary children to sit in drab classrooms and stare at a blackboard all day? And instead of questioning the way ‘we do school’ in Western Culture, instead, when the little boy or girl doesn’t sit still for hours on end the teacher tells the parent that they should be tested for over-hyperactivity, “Perhaps your child should be on Ritalin to calm them down” the teacher says.
I am suggesting that we as a people literally tear down the fabric of the current establishment; all of those engrained beliefs we’ve been taught to hold dear…..need to be torn to shreds. We need to start over.
I recently had coffee with a mid-fortyish gentleman who was complaining about anxiety and stress in his life, “How often are you outside breathing in fresh air?” I asked him
He laughed, “Well I have a garage so when I leave to work in the morning I never even have to step outside; I get into my car, drive to work, than I usually come home in the evening. The only fresh air I get is on Saturday if I decide to do any work around the yard, and most Saturdays I’m so exhausted from the work week that I spend the day inside watching television” he said
Am I the only one that questions a lifestyle where someone goes five consecutive days without ever being outside for any length of time? Am I the only person in Western Society who has experienced the calming effect of spending an hour at midday walking through the woods or along a river and enjoying the beauty of nature?
It can be uncomfortable to talk about pharmaceutical drugs, mental illness, and our lifestyle because these issues are extremely personal. It can be difficult to discuss the subject of the way we do life in Western Society because from a very young age we have been force-fed the idea that ‘Western Culture is a supreme society, we are better than those damn third world countries”. However, as I’ve written about places like Costa Rica, it is actually in many of those third world countries where people experience a higher level of happiness, contentment, and much lower rates of anxiety and stress.
The way we do life here in Western Culture needs to be reevaluated.
“But Kenneth, how do we even begin to change the status quo? If I agree with you that spending too much time in our automobiles is hazardous to our health, and that little children should spend more time outside of the classroom than sitting at desks….what can we really do?”
It’s not going to be easy. Challenging the institution and establishments can be daunting to even consider. Entire college degree programs and industry have built around the lies we’ve been taught to believe.
“My people perish for lack of knowledge”
The first step is considering the possibility that we have been lied to and that the educational system around us needs to be reevaluated. The second step is continuing this discussion; whether via the Internet, in person-to-person conversations, on radio shows, or in any platform possible.
The third step, if you so desire, is to stay tuned to The Culture Monk Website where I’ll be continuing this topic for the next few days. At the risk of losing readers, I believe so strongly that Western Culture needs a facelift that I’ve dedicated the next few days to this theme.
For now, I think I’m going to finish this cup of coffee,
—> if you haven’t heard I’m co-hosting a weekly podcast with my good friend Kylie, check it out at www.kennyandkylie.com
—> My sincerest apologies to all my awesome readers for being so behind in responding to comments and emails. The last few weeks has seen a massive increase in work related responsibilities, and the emails and comments I’ve been receiving has practically doubled over night. I hope to be caught up in the upcoming weeks. I am EXTREMELY thankful for every comment and email receive and I read EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. The success of the Culture Monk Blog owes directly to all of the great comments and discussion that occurs beyond my articles. Thank you! Again…. even though I’ve been behind on responding to emails and comments, I READ EVERY SINGLE ONE, thank you so much!!!
Categories: Culture & Society