You were a born artist!

Exactly at what point did all of us decide to stop doing things ourselves and just SPECTATE and let only a select few do it for us? There was a time when every single person in the tribe would sing and dance every night around the fire. Every single solitary individual was expected to be an ACTIVE PARTICIPANT in life.

Can't sing so good?

You sing anyway.

Not a great dancer?

You dance nonetheless.

There was NO GETTING OUT OF IT.

Everyone was a player.

THERE WERE NO SPECTATORS!

I can imagine that some were better than others and had a special role from time to time. But the modus operandi for the common man was to play along. Not sit it out.

When did we as a culture just outsource our participation in things so innately human as singing and dancing? Modern concert-going and sports watching are just some of the most blatant examples of how we have taken a pass on everyday life. We have excused ourselves from DOING and we have settled for WATCHING PASSIVELY. It is possible to attend a concert of tens of thousands just sitting still attentively as little as only one person plays piano and sings. But even a whole orchestra is still only a handful of players compared to the vast crowd of spectators.

I don't even have to mention the millions who could be observing in a televised event doing the same not-doing-a-thing as those in live attendance to make my point. There is nothing wrong with enjoying excellence being practiced by those most gifted and talented among us. But it does not follow that because some do it better than we, ergo we must take a seat and NOT DO. Those are not mutually exclusive things. You can throw a baseball (or spear) much better than maybe I can...but I don't have to quit throwing! Nor dancing nor singing nor sporting.

They can be done CONCURRENTLY. No need for either of us to stop. Why, oh why then, has modern civilized man opted out? Note carefully the word "civilized" in the forgoing sentence. It matters. All around the world there are less modern cultures that have not seen fit to make this choice. Some even still have the fire and the tribe! But to show that it is indeed absolutely a CHOICE, I submit to you the American Amish, Mennonite,And rural Appalachian families and communities right in this country. They still value and expect participation.

First Nation Tribes have had a long, painful road BACK TO the pow wow and indigenous culture that was taken from them once under penalty of law! But many fought to return to it. Modern Americans have just thrown it away while the first Americans work hard to revive it. Think about that.

My point here is to encourage participation in sport, art, and life in general. Working out is a participation event, no doubt! But how many things in your life are you farming out to others?

We send our kids to school and we think that is enough.

We farm out their education and fail to TEACH IN THE HOME.

Hell, some go as far as having a nanny raise them!

What I am suggesting is that it is important to take stock of our lives from time to time and evaluate just how much of them we are LIVING. And to assess how many things we have let others live for us. My hope is to make you aware. I cant fix my own car but I can sure as hell wash and wax it if I chose to! I'm no chef, but I got some good advice from a Hollywood director once who told me to learn how to cook 5 of my favorite dishes...well. No chef school, no constant effort, just pick five things you personally like then keep working on them until they are to your taste. So I don't have to go to a restaurant to eat a great meal. I can do it myself. To be sure here I'm not talking about self reliance Ala Walden or anything. Just modest but fervent participation in LIFE.

Looking at your life might bring some surprises. You may not even be aware of how many things you've let go of. My all time worst pet peeve is letting others do YOUR THINKING FOR YOU!

I'm painfully surrounded by that. Arrghhh! But make sure you see what I'm leading you to. Not at all to do everything for yourself (although I suspect that would be a rich, rewarding way to go about life) but to CHOOSE to participate MORE in what you do spend your life on. If you train, you're on your way. But don't end your participant attitude at the gym door. Carry it out into the parts of your life that matter most to you.

Be especially wary of phone, internet, an and social media as great tricksters into a life of being a spectator rather than participant. They can FEEL like doing something, while in reality it often comes down to watching the doings of others. Its a neat trick to be sure, but a falsehood all the same. I am asking that you apply the same vigor to your life as a whole as you do in the gym with the iron. And I'm going to ask something more of you...teach someone else about living this way.

If you cant drag them to a gym, drag them to a park. Be contagious in your visceral living of life. You don't have to go skydiving. Just paint a picture! Yeah, I know...you're not an artist. There it is again! Letting only a few people create all the art! For Christ's sake, give a 4th grader a box of crayola and and see what our natural state of artistry is before the non-participants beat it out of them!

You were a born artist!

Fuck them!

Paint a goddam picture if that's what you want!

Not an artist my ass!

Ok. This has taken an ugly turn ,but it got passionate for a moment. I was LIVING!

I WAS CREATING BY WRITING. And I'll tell you...I felt alive.

Remember I said this...you are truly just an ant, but your place in the colony is no less valuable than any other ant...no matter how well they can sing.

 

Strength-6

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