Spoiler summary: if it were only as simple as it sounds.
Summertime presents a whole new set of challenges doesn’t it? It does for me. Kids out of the school routine and looking for something fun to fill their time, vacations to plan for and around, and no shortage of projects that need to be done. Couple that with the fact that time just seems to FLY (can you believe it’s July?) and it’s enough to tire me out. But this week I got a really great lesson in ENDURE (Pro-Activity Element number 4).
With three busy kids it’s pretty rare for me to have time with any of them completely by themselves and so when the opportunity presents, I usually try to take it. So this week, when I had a chance to spend some time with my nine-year-old, who has an adventurous spirit and loves to be out learning new things, I jumped at the chance.
**Remember that kid in Jerry Maguire (“did you know the human head weighs…”) – Andrew is sort of like that. **
So it was no surprise to me that when I offered some hiking around Jockey Hollow Park (George Washington’s Morristown, New Jersey winter encampment in 1779) he was all for it.
We learned all about the harsh winter that year…how food was incredibly tight and that there was even a bit of mutiny that threatened the outcome of the revolution. We learned a little bit about the various brigades and “lines” and got to tour a few of the replica soldier huts that housed some of the 10,000 who reported there. Although it was a great interactive way to learn a bit about American history just-in-time to make the upcoming holiday a bit more meaningful, for me it was really a reminder in exactly how resilient we humans really can be….. That when we believe in something deeply, as the revolutionaries did, we can overcome enormous challenges and achieve great things.
Now it’s true that most of us will never know what it means to live in a log cabin during one of the most harsh winters in a century while trying to liberate a country…. but I’m thankful someone else did. And, with any luck we won’t need to be fighting for our freedom from an oppressive government anytime soon, but we’ve definitely got our challenges….and I sometimes wonder if despite being a very different time, with very different risks, we aren’t allowing the adventurous spirit (maybe our inner nine-year-old?) to be so burdened that we are literally held down, oppressed, by other forces.
Here’s something to ponder: Wikipedia tells me that about 6,500 (of the 45,000 active US soldiers) died over the 8+ years in battle during the revolution with as many as 50,000 related casualties from diseases. That combined 56K would’ve been about 2.25% of the population at the time. Now fast forward to today. Heart disease and cancer (the top 2 of many causes of death) combined claim about 1 million lives per year in the US….which if left unchecked, will account for about 2.5% of the population over the next 8 years (8M/320M)…..and that doesn’t even count the next 8 diseases that make up the top 10 or the HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF LIVES claimed by the sick-care system (medical error, etc).
Although clearly these are not the same, the fact that we are losing (proportionally) the same number of people makes me wonder if we too can “win” if we can ENDURE the harsh reality of the environment we’re in…..if we too get out from under these oppressive forces….that we can loosen and ultimately free the yoke that we (collectively as a society) appear beholden to.
There’s no doubt that many of the challenges of 240 years ago are unthinkable by today’s standards… but maybe, if we are willing to take up the fight of today’s challenges and see them through to completion, 240 years from now we too will have made a meaningful impact…..
Those few people who had finally had enough decided they were ready to fight back…..and when they did, and found a way to ENDURE, they changed the course of history.
When you’re ready for a health revolution, just let me know.
I hope your weekend is healthy and safe….and most of all, independent…of all the oppressors we face.