Humans didn’t always live in gigantic societies that controlled every aspect of their lives. Instead, they existed in roving bands, foraging and hunting for food in their local area.
Early evidence suggested that people were, in general, happy and healthy before farming took root. Outside of environmental disasters, the Earth offered up its bounty, and people enjoyed themselves.
But when civilization came along, things began to change. You had to fit in. You had to do what you were told. You had to eat whatever slop your masters served you.
The reason people accepted this seemingly raw deal was because of what they got in return. It was the age-old exchange: freedom for safety, and many people took it.
The problem is that society’s current approach to the individual doesn’t support wellbeing. You would think with all the wealth that we’ve accumulated since the industrial revolution that people would be happy, but they’re not. Mental health issues and the numbers of people in drug rehab are hitting all-time highs.
It is not the human condition to be miserable, it is just what happens when people expose themselves to destructive philosophies, poor working habits, and dreadful food.
Here’s how society is making you sick.
Your Food Isn’t Real Anymore
You can still buy real food at the store, but the idea that you should live off it exclusively seems a little strange to most people. In fact, when you look at what people are really eating in surveys, you find that the vast majority are not consuming whole foods. Instead, they are getting a diet of refined sugars, flours and oils – foods that don’t look anything like they do in nature.
Failing to eat real food affects your body in every way imaginable. It disrupts your microbiome, stops your metabolism from working correctly, and deprives you of essential phytonutrients that support your health. When you abandon real food, you put yourself at higher risk of disease, poor mental health and disability.
You Have To Accept Bad Ideas
We won’t go into specifics in this section, but you probably already have a hunch what some of society’s bad ideas are. Perhaps the most damaging is the idea that your identity is what you think and feel. This concept leads people to associate with their intellect, instead of their source of being as a human.
Bad ideas are everywhere in a world filled with chatter. There’s so much noise, that few people, if anyone, can take time out and look within.
You’re Being Worked Way Too Hard
Most hunter-gatherers work about six hours a day. That’s roughly how long it takes them to meet all of their food, shelter and clothing requirements.
Modern humans, though, work much longer than this. What’s more, our approach to work means that many of us feel stressed and unhappy while doing it. It’s not a fun experience. A year of these sensations isn’t enough to cause lasting damage, but twenty years certainly is.
Of course, there are many other ways that society makes people sick. We only scratched the surface here. But it is worth pointing out that civilization isn’t the be all and end all. And, when you look at it dispassionately, you discover that it often works against wellbeing.
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