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Thoughts on life by Tim West.

Positively Shocking

A couple of weeks ago I watched a podcast on the topic of recent human evolution.  Journalist & author Sebastian Junger discussed how most westernised humans have got to the point where a great deal of their base instinctual needs are not being met; with detrimental consequences.

At 1 hour 24 mins the podcast (linked below) is a significant time investment but is absolutely one of the most insightful things I've watched/ listened to in a long time.  Ever wondered why the more comfort and stuff we accumulate, the less happy we become?  We have got to the point where mental health issues like depression and suicide have reached epidemic proportions.

My personal summary of this discussion between Joe Rogan & Sebastian Junger is that in order to maintain our basic levels of mental health, we need to engage in significant challenge on a regular basis.  We need to be uncomfortable.  We need tragedy.  We need a purpose, a sense of belonging and we need to be needed.  We are not designed to operate alone.

One example discussed by Junger was the Blitz in London in WWII, during which the British government was setting up significant mental health resources to deal with the aftermath.  In fact, the number of admissions to such resources went down in the aftermath.  People felt an innate sense of community and were able to tangibly help out their neighbours.  So much so that Britain is still known for that Blitz Spirit to this day.  Positively shocking.


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