In the pre-industrial age, and certainly in the paleolithic times, we sat on the ground or at best on a log. Chairs were non-existent until just a few thousand years ago. Even after that it continued to be only rare except among the nobility and royalty in pre-industrial times.
Chairs have made us Frail
We are Natural Beings ideally fit for the Natural Environment
Over Time More Things are thought to be Essentials
“By necessaries I understand not only the commodities which are indispensably necessary for the support of life, but what ever the custom of the country renders it indecent for creditable people, even the lowest order, to be without. A linen shirt, for example, is, strictly speaking, not a necessary of life. The Greeks and Romans lived, I suppose, very comfortably, though they had no linen. But in present times … a creditable day-laborer would be ashamed to appear in public without a linen shirt … Custom … has rendered leather shoes a necessary of life in England. The poorest creditable person of either sex would be ashamed to appear in public without them.The Wealth of Nations
This means we need to re-think everything that we’ve grown accustomed to thinking is right for us. I’ve made the same point about air conditioning, and even about the use of utensils, dressers, garages, televisions and the sizes of our homes. The point then is to draw a line in the sand for yourself so that you can decide what is truly necessary and which purchases are instead a matter of just mindless spending and keeping up with Joneses or arbitrary societal standards.
BOTTOM LINE: THERE IS A BETTER WAY!
- As John Maynard Keynes said a century ago, people of our time ought to be largely independent of our employers for our income – unfortunately, due to “mindless consumerism”, we are not.
- Mindless consumerism is the underlying reason leading to the rise of chronic disease for 3 major reasons:
- It ties us to dependence on our employers and modern day employment is a health hazard for most (in part due to the sedentary nature of most jobs).
- It has led to environmental changes toxic to our wellbeing:
- (a). We evolved in and are best suited to natural environments and instead we live in increasingly artificial environments.
- (b). Overconsumption has lead us to engineer out the need for meaningful use of our legs for ambulation.
- Finally, it transforms workers to work with blinders on – instead of working for the product or service and receiving money as a side effect, workers focus on making money and the product or service is instead the side effect. The results (with respect to health) is that “food” is no longer food but changed to maximize pleasure and extract profit in spite of the toxicity to our health.
- Based on the science of wellbeing one can derive the philosophy that once basic needs are met, “The best things in life are free” therefore —>
- Most people can live far below their means without sacrificing happiness AND by investing the rest, they can become financially independent of their employers enabling them to be —>
- Happier. Healthier. Wealthier. More engaged. Simply better.