Mental obesity

Before the Olympic Games official cancelation, my friend Fernando and I were joking over the phone about the physical shape that the athletes may present in Tokyo after several months without training or competing. Picturing all the extra kilos hanging loose and pouring over the tight sportsmen/women outfits made us laugh and distract a bit from the grim reality of the Corona pandemic. Obviously, the Olympics had to be postponed for the next year and we will not get the satisfaction of having our bodies resembling the Olympic athletes. They will (hopefully) have a year to get back to the top shape and we will have to settle to the controlled slowing down of the imminent decay.

The months of reduced and, in many cases, unexisting physical activity will inevitably cause future health issues. But that is a problem to deal with once the pandemic is ended. What we should all be concerned about today is mental health.

The stress caused by the dangers of the corona pandemic gets further increased while living under reduced mobility and bombed by an endless stream of information about the severity of the situation worldwide. The entire world is today restrained into the Plato’s Cave. The shadows are the only reality we perceive and the choices we have are reduced to the Matrix dilemma. Take a red pill and face an unpleasant truth, or take a blue one and remain in ‘blissful ignorance’.

The unpleasant truth is that we are all ignorant until proven otherwise. It is the Socratic paradox of ‘knowing that I know nothing’ that should get us going and not just in these times of crises. The presumption of ignorance should drive all our actions. Only this way can we avoid falling prey to mental obesity.

Same as our bodies respond to eating a lot of ‘junk’ food, our minds get obese under ingesting piles of ‘junk’ content. The incredible amount of easily accessible junk programs and false information that we get to stream or watch is a huge menace to the mental health of our civilization. That is why reading good books, watching insightful documentaries and educational programs, playing social games or solving puzzles should be the individual top priority right now. Only this way can we avoid having mentally obese humanity at the end of the pandemic. If nothing else, it can help to avoid decimating the global toilet paper supply.

Dare to learn. Dare to not know.

Prove ‘otherwise’, every day!

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