One of the things I am most tired of is everyone’s fears. It seems unreasonable with the knowledge and blessings of our age that fear should so permeate our world.
A few years ago I did a video on disinfecting water using a process that was developed by the Swiss, which was designed to be cheap and to work very well. They have saved tens of thousands of lives with the process called SODIS, which is an acronym for Solar Disinfection. The very poor in third world countries use the system easily. It uses PET plastic bottles that are filled with infected water and laid in the sun for 6 hours. The UV rays from the sun cause a disinfecting process to make the water safe, preventing one of the greatest killers in the world, diarrhea, and many other things.
In spite of all that success over decades there is a constant questioning about how dangerous plastic is. The little trace chemicals that supposedly leach out and kill you. It makes me sick because it’s not just about plastic, everywhere you look these days the same type of fear exists. Some miniscule killer is lurking everywhere and in everything. We’ll be lucky to make it to the end of the day.
Certainly some fears are justified, obvious hazards, but since the war on cancer started with such things as artificial sweeteners, we have started to look at ever smaller traces of things and we fear them.
We constantly see the terrible warnings, “don’t drink bottled water that’s been in a hot car, it gave so and so cancer.” Don’t eat eggs, don’t eat fat, don’t eat cheese, don’t eat bacon, don’t eat anything not organically grown, don’t eat snow, wear a bike helmet, don’t drink raw milk.”
When I was growing up the big fears were impending nuclear war with Russia and the possible annihilation of everything on earth, another was the coming ice age and how it would crush our world, there was also the push for “Zero Population Growth” as certainly the earth could not support more than a billion people. I have lived my whole life and none of these has yet to be a problem.
Now I well know that there will be some difficulties in life, that is the nature of things, but most of what we fear never materializes. We should be preparing against the likely things, loss of job, health problems, etc., but if we live our whole lives based on some fear, perhaps we may miss some of the most wonderful things we could imagine.
We should not just live for today and not be prepared, our ancestors learned to use the summers to lay up stores for the winter months. For many of them the winter months were spent getting ready for the warmer months. Everything was based on looking forward to the future, making plans, having hope. I fear we are far too consumed these days in looking toward impending disaster, much of which may never happen to us. Certainly there will be some tough times, that has always been the case, and depending on religious views many have an apocalyptic outlook for the future; however, even in that, though very hard times are forecast, a glorious ending is also part of that apocalyptic period, should we not look with hope on getting through the trouble and focus on the grand and glorious ending? We really should be people full of hope for the future.
My former father-in-law many years ago died at home and the autopsy showed a perfect heart and vessels, they said he had the heart of a twenty year old, and yet nearly every day of his life eggs and a big serving of bacon was his breakfast, he never exercised, but worked hard at this job and in his garden.
PET plastic that most of the water bottles in the world are made out of is simply one of the safest containers there is; though it would be pointless, you could grind it up into powder and eat it with no harm. In our society we have come to believe that anything oil based is cancerous and vile. We could not live our lives in this day without plastics, they are one of the great miracles of our time, plastics make our lives safer, and more comfortable at less expense than anything in the history of the world. If you’ve been to the hospital there is not a procedure done that does not involve plastics of some kind. Although many people deride plastics as polluting, the truth of the matter is they are some of the most recyclable things there ever was, and much of what is made out of them is far less polluting than what they replace. We need to look at the positive in our lives and not the constant negative droning.
Recently I was camping alone out on the desert, when I had a heart problem and could have died. There was no one else out there, I was hours from any cell service. I kept on blacking out. Finally I got in my truck and looked south over the green springtime meadows, the juniper and pine forests around me and off in the distance the snow covered mountain peaks, and I thought, wow what a beautiful place to die, if that’s what is going to happen. I got out my iPhone and with voice memo dictated my last words of hope and comfort to my wife, my kids and other family and friends. I was at peace. I decided to say a short little prayer and thanked God for a wonderful life with the best of friends and family and for all the beauties my eyes have beheld. I concluded saying, “if this is the end, it has been great, and if not, help me to get out of here and to help.”
Well I made it out cautiously and carefully. Doctors have tested me every which way they can and found not a thing wrong in my heart. The doctor did say it would be best if I lost some weight. The last few years have been busy, too busy really and though I’ve been very active, I haven’t got the regular exercise I really should. So I’ve been riding my bike about 20 miles a day and I feel better for it, plus it’s outside so what could be better. I am excited each morning to get out on my ride, it is so refreshing and invigorating, what a wonderful way to start the day. I look at that incident with my heart as a positive thing, a little nudge to make a small change to my life that will make it better, it has been a blessing to me.
People have been saying to me such things as, “I’ll bet you’ll never go out on a trek alone again,” or something else about restricting my life. On the contrary, I am planning bigger and better things and more solitary treks and adventures, I am hopeful for the future and excited for the prospects!
I hope we can all be both prepared for life, and be able to live life without fear. Always have something in your mind out there you want to do and be planning to do it, it makes each day an adventure. Let’s live practical and hopeful lives. Have fun in being prepared, not dreadful. Remember HOPE is what the future is all about.
Until next time this is Perry Peacock, “Simplifying Survival”