That's the title of a 2006 article at Emergency Medicine News, about which I learned in a recent e-mail. It says, in so many words, that the absence of real threats or urgent life imperatives (like hunting for or gathering food) has led to the physical and mental decline of many of us. Since we no longer have to react to such threats in order to stay alive, we've sunk into an over-comfortable apathy. Here's an excerpt.
Picture the scene: Rural Southern man with recent hand fracture, splint in place. He's sitting in our ersatz fast-track area, which consists of small cubicles separated by partial walls and curtains. He needs more pain medicine. His girlfriend loudly complains, He can't even have sex, and I'm tired of doing it on top!
. . .
My friend Frank, emergency department nurse, former clown, former prison nurse, sage of sages, said quite matter of factly, If coyotes were as big as minivans, we wouldn't have problems like that.
Let it sink in for a minute. This is wisdom of the highest order ... Otherwise healthy young men wouldn't sit around acting mortally wounded and praying for disability if coyotes were as big as minivans. They would have to stay alert, keep moving, stay in shape. The implications are staggering.
Not long after Frank shared this with me, I was shopping, and on the sidewalk I saw an enormous woman on a battery-powered scooter. Its little motor was obviously straining under the load. Her ample frame spilled over the sides, a moving, lyrical poem dedicated to fast food and Little Debbie cakes. As she rolled along, looking in windows, smoke trailed from the cigarette burning in her hand. (Or the scooter motor was burning out.) No doubt if I had been seeing her as a patient, she would have complained of arthritis, degenerative disc disease, chronic back pain, emphysema, enlarged heart, fatigue, and peripheral edema. If coyotes were as big as minivans, well, let's just say that odds are the scooter would be empty, and it would be Happy Thanksgiving in the coyote den. Tastes smoky, but the fat marbling is yummy!
There's more at the link. Well worth reading.