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#241: Where Has The Settler Spirit Gone?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A History Channel TV show documented the journeys of America's pioneers and of Columbus, Ponce de Leon and other legendary world explorers. It focused on their indomitable spirit and bravery when facing unknown dangers in their explorations of unfamiliar territories and oceans.

And the show asked an insightful question: "Where has the settler spirit gone?"

Think about our American pioneers for example. They were willing to load their meager belongings on horse-drawn wagons and walk and ride for months hoping to find land where they could settle down and raise a family.

Their were no paved roads or restaurants or wagon repair shops or medical facilities. There were no motels or ready-to-move-into houses or apartments.

What there was were thieves and diseases and broken wagon axles and lack of food and water and proper sanitation.

There were also births and deaths among these people of stout character who believed with all of their heart and soul that the difficulties they faced were worth enduring for the bounty and better life they knew awaited them.

The question asked, in comparison, why we think we have it so tough today. Most everyone has a place to live, with enough, often too much, food available, medical facilities readily nearby 24 hours a day, ease of travel and a sense of safety wherever we go.

But here we are on a site such as SparkPeople, with a wealth of free information and self-help tools offered to us and we, me included, so often bemoan how difficult it is to track what we eat, that it's too tough to find time to exercise and all in all we complain about how overweight and out of shape we are.

In comparison to the settlers and world explorers, THAT is what we have to worry about?

Like the show asked: "Where has the settler spirit gone?"

Why is it so difficult for us to eat healthy food and enjoy exercising and becoming fit? Why aren't we as steadfast in our journey to weight loss and better health as the settlers were on their journeys to a better life?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    In answer to your question "Why is it so difficult for us to eat healthy food and enjoy exercising and becoming fit?"

    1. The American pioneers did not have the temptation of plentiful food, nor the amount of process foods and sweets that we have available to us today. Instead of addressing the gluttonous ways we developed we focused on building more hospitals to take care of our illnesses as a result of this lifestyle change.

    2. Exercise was build into their everyday lives. They didn't set at desk all day then have to worry about finding time to exercise. They didn't have pipes that bought water into their houses , they had to carry the water in etc. I doubt they ever worried about getting enough exercise.

    We need to develop a gratitude attitude that we don't have to work our self to death, as some of our forefathers did ,but realize not enough exercise is unhealthy and find physical things to do and enjoy whatever we might find to do.

    We have to see and accept the challenges that a easy abundant life gives.
    4021 days ago
    Interesting blog, Lou. I think the desire for each generation to make things better for their children has contributed a lot to the fact that we have so many things, and have become complacent in so many areas of our lives. Time to get back to that "settler spirit". We'd be a lot better off.
    4021 days ago
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    We have too much. We don't need to work for what we have, and it shows. That's one thing that has happened.
    4021 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6293043
    I sometimes think what an early Canadian or American would think if you could plop them down in the middle of our world today. Even my grandmother, who is 96 now has seen so much change in the way things are done. It get worse with each generation as we develop more conveniences and we get fatter as we no longer need to move to do anything. Early Canadian and Americans didn't need an exercise plan, everything they did was exercise for them. They didn't have overweight children because kids were outside and working alongside their parents or, when they could find time, playing an active game of something... they didn't have video games and TV to fill in their days. I wonder what the next 50 years has in store for us as more and more conveniences are created to make our lives "better"... Great thought provoking blog, as usual!
    4021 days ago
    I have said this often to people whining about the difficulties in their lives. WE have no problems compared to any other place on this earth and certainly no problems compared to what our ancestors endured. Good blog!
    4022 days ago
    It really is that kind of journey for us, isn't it? As insightful as ever, my friend. Thank you. Now I'm gonna go put on my Little House costume and plow up some fallow ground in my life! lol


    4022 days ago
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