Comfort Zone Culture Slaughters Far More People Than Radicalized Cultures.

The modern world is obsessed with comfort. Anything that causes the least amount of discomfort is labeled as dangerous or even evil. This is a problem. It stifles the open sharing of ideas and conflicting viewpoints. It breeds group think and rabid tribalism in place of unity and mutual understanding. It’s tearing the world apart at just about every single level conceivable.

Today I want to look at it in terms of physical health. We, humans, love our comfort food. We love sitting down with a “snack” that’s been engineered to hijack our biology and neurology in a way that keeps us perpetually munching. All while living vicariously through the airbrushed lives of the Kardashians or the outrage mob of the week and this vicious cycle is killing us in droves.

According to the CDC 655,000 people die from cardiovascular disease in the United States per year. That works out to one death every six seconds or one in every four people who die in the country. Astounding numbers like this should funnel us into asking an obvious question, “What’s causing this torrent of cardiovascular disease?” With as many corpses as we have piling up each year, you would assume that the answer to this question would be incredibly profound. You would think that the answer would be so inconceivably complicated that only the best and brightest would be able to comprehend its depths. Ironically, this isn’t the case. Again, referring to the CDC the key risk factors for cardiovascular disease are:

· High blood pressure

· High cholesterol

· Smoking

Following closely behind we have:

· Diabetes

· Being overweight/obese

· Poor diet

· Physical inactivity

· Excessive alcohol use

Raise your hand if you’re surprised about any of the items on that list.

Didn’t raise your hand, right?

Why?

Because unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 20 years you already know this. Unsurprisingly the VAST majority of coronavirus victims had many of these same comorbidities.

There happens to be a silver lining here though and it’s robust enough that we need to mine it for all it’s worth.

Every single one of the above-mentioned contributors to cardiovascular disease can be nearly eradicated from an individual’s life via lifestyle changes. To put it differently, we have the capacity to dramatically cut the number of cardiovascular disease deaths from 655,000 per year to something significantly more palatable simply by making better choices. As individuals, we have the power to take ownership of our lives and our health. We can reject the medication band-aid solutions that allow us to keep living unsustainably unhealthy lives while we cover the uncomfortable symptoms of a pandemic that’s silently been raging for at least a generation.

Unfortunately, we’ve become so comfortable where we’re at that we’re comfortable with killing ourselves at incredible numbers. If we compare the slow self-inflicted death of cardiovascular disease with that of the deaths caused by terrorism it brings perspective to just how morally bankrupt our comfort zone culture has become.

According to Our World in Data 2017 was the deadliest year for terrorism (the fruit of radicalized culture) across the globe with 44,000 deaths. 9/11 was a dark day in the United States and about 3000 people directly died in the attack. In other words, 0.12% of the deaths in The United States or every 800th death was caused by 9/11. It’s tragic to be sure, but it’s a very small drop in the bucket compared with cardiovascular disease. Hell, even looking at Iraq, the country most affected by terrorism in 2017 only 4.3% of the deaths there were due to terrorism.

Could you imagine the resources that would be leveraged both by the United States government and even private individuals if 4.3% of the deaths in the United States were caused by terrorism? What if that number was 25% like it is right now for cardiovascular disease? I suspect that Congress would cease their constant bickering and political grandstanding and come together in a sense of unity. I believe that no matter who the current president was the nation would rally behind them to stop the horrific flood of destruction and anguish. We would become a nation once again united beneath a single banner. Heaven and earth would be moved to find a solution.

Sadly, this hasn’t been the case. It’s far too uncomfortable for us to collectively confront the greatest mass murder in human history. It stings too much for us to look in the mirror and say, “This is on us” and because it stings so much it will never happen. That doesn’t mean we’re without hope though. Just because those in power aren’t willing to stand up and take ownership of one of the largest on-going tragedies in human history doesn’t mean we as individuals have to ride along as they apathetically “row the boat gently down the stream.”

We can step off the boat and swim to shore.

We can take ownership of our own lives.

We can refuse to blame other people or groups for our own predicament. Even though it feels good to point the finger of scorn at another, it won’t change a single thing about your or your family’s health.

We can learn to self soothe without hyper-palatable foods, cigarettes, or booze.

We can choose to delay gratification and cook at home rather than swinging through the McDonalds drive-through.

We can take the time to develop a very basic understanding of nutrition so that we can make better food choices. (Macronutrients, calories in vs calories out, etc.)

We can choose to “take the stairs” both literally and metaphorically. AKA we can seek out paths other than the one with the least resistance.

We can exchange the money that we use for one of our many streaming subscriptions or our budget for eating out for an economical gym membership and then actually use it.

No one is coming to save you, no one.

It’s time to wake up.

It’s time to take action.

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