Entitlement and the Outdoors
Thursday, December 4, 2014 at 6:29PM
Ed

What happened? When did everyone become special snowflakes who nobody understands, and as a result everyone should treat them special? Around the time of participation ribbons and making sure everyone gets a Valentine's Day card I imagine.

It wasn't like this when I was a kid. A fat kid at that. I knew I was weaker and less desirable because I was overweight. Maybe not in those terms, exactly, but I could just inherently tell that the athletic kids were better humans than the unathletic kids. Not to toot my own horn, but I'm pretty darn smart (if IQ means anything, of which I am dubious, I am of "superior intelligence") so I clawed and scraped and hung on to that smartness with everything I had. Also I was funny. Being smart all the time is hard and tiring, and in the end you are ALWAYS ARGUING with people, and pretty much always wasting time. Maybe if I applied myself more I could be a Bill Nye or a Niel Degrasse Tyson, but what's the payoff? I could work on stand up comedy and maybe I could become a George Carlin or Robin Williams or Pete Holmes (what a weird mix, haha) but it feels like you are forever chasing external validation - I'M FUNNY!

It seems like that's where a lot of this entitlement comes from - desire for external validation. Fat activists want validation from fit, skinny, attractive men. Neckbeards and 'nice guys' want validation from fit, skinny, lare breasted, attractive women. I just don't understand where it comes from, and sadly if I think back I was one of those people who felt entitlement, and that only by getting that would I be validated. Entitlement for that job, that paycheck, those things, that girl, this body.

You get nothing for free. You get nothing unless you put the work in. How can you expect anyone to love you if you don't love yourself? How can you expect an attractive and fit mate if you don't do your best to be as attractive and fit as possible? You should always be striving to improve, to be the best version of yourself you can be. You will fail sometimes, but you need to learn that that's life, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and try again. Nothing comes fro free.

 

You need to be validated by yourself, simply for being alive. Life is a wonderful thing and, as far as we know, you only get one of them, so you might as well enjoy every moment and soak it up as best you can. You need to make the most of it.

You know what makes me happy, what validates me? Being outside and seeing what my body is capable of. Humans and our ancestors lived outside (like any other animal) for hundreds of thousands to millions of years. We evolved to be our best selves in the outdoors. To feel better when we get more sunlight, when we have a nice tan, to be literally happier the more time we spend outside under the blue sky. We evolved to hunt, to work, to play, and to rest. So you should run, and lift, and climb, swing, jump, roll, and swim.

 

Don't give up. Don't be happy with mediocrity. Don't resign yourself to where you are in life, or how you look, or your current fitness level. Always try to be better. There's that ideal version of yourself inside. That version that can cook, or be super suave with the ladies, or nail a 360 in the half pipe, or climb a wall, or run a marathon is inside of you, you just need to put away your bad habits and let this improved you out.

 

And when you die you should be able to say "I am the best me I had the time to discover and create in this lifetime." That's how you die with no regrets and a smile on your face.

Article originally appeared on Life and Times of Ed (http://www.lifeandtimesofed.com/).
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