The whole world is so extreme these days. To most people I know and meet they are either one extreme or the other politically and in most other aspects of their lives are extreme as well. It is no wonder there are so many people who are either sick, becoming sick or are facing mental health challenges. I would like to discuss some of these extreme issues and put my two cents worth into an idea that extremism of any type isn’t good for a person’s body or spirit.
Most likely this road to extremism starts when we enter the school system as young children. So much emphasis and pressure is placed on children and parents to obtain a good education these days that little else is discussed or taking into account in these small kid’s lives. When I first enter the US school system in the 1960’s the world was very much different than it is today. Back then there were other things than just a basic book education learned when attending the public schools. One of the biggest of these other activities were sports which helped young folks learn how to compete with others, just like they will need to do in life. In my view too much emphasis is being placed to advanced education these days and not enough on the human development which is just as important to a young child.
Another area of most folk’s lives which cause extreme behavior is unfortunately found in their religion. Too many religions preach an extremist version of the bible, which I do not see when I read the scriptures. From everything I know of the Holy Bible, Jesus was sent to this earth to save it, not to punish the people who do not follow his teaching to the letter. No one is perfect and everyone is going to make mistakes. It is not realistic for church leaders to try and get their parishioners to live perfect lives when God intended them to live in such a way when he created them. Unfortunately, people who have a tendency to become extreme in the first place my find salvation in a house of worship but may also never find true happiness during their lives because it is impossible to be a perfect person. In my youth this type of preaching was called, "fire and brimstone" and it has emerged into something else today which is called fundamentalism.
While all of these other areas of extremism are bad, probably the biggest and worst form of extremism practiced in the United States evolves around our diets and the extreme measures which most Americans take in maintaining their weight and the loss of excess pounds. Millions of Americans choose to over eat or eat the wrong type of foods for an extended period of time and then decide to take all of that excess weight which was placed on their bodies in a fast and uncontrolled way. There are thousands of diets which were designed to help folks lose weight fast and most have become very successful because if anything takes much work or takes too long, Americans will not be interested in the diet, no matter how good it is for them in the long run. Research studies prove that while these weight loss programs are successful in the short run, almost all of them fail in the long run because once they are completed, most folks go back to extreme eating again which got them in this situation in the first place.
Mac Davis recorded a song once called, "Stop and Smell the Roses". This song was about how important it is to slow down in life and take some time and smell the roses along your way. It is almost impossible to maintain a happy life where we can get along with others if we fall into an extremist lifestyle. The truth is there is much more to life than trying to control everything and everyone we meet. It is so important to just trust God, rather than trying to do his work for him. As Mac Davis said in that song, we should all slow down, think about how much we have to be thankful for and relax a little bit.