Sunday Firesides: Push Back From the Table

On November 18, 1968 a collection of students in the town square at Columbia University began to organize. Their goal was to take a stand against what they saw as an increase in institutionalized racism and violence on campus. This led them to occupy buildings for over three months until police forcibly removed them. The group came up with their own form of self-governance called the Student Revolutionary Directorate which operated openly by making collective decisions through consensus while maintaining autonomy from university officials who were trying to blur lines between administration, faculty and student affairs.,

A man is pushing back from the table.

The first platters of cookies, treat-filled gift baskets, and large special feasts are great at the start of the holidays. However, on New Year’s Day, your clothes are tighter and your body is bloated, and you want… a simple salad.

Researchers believe that our inability to manage our intake of fat- and sugar-laden meals stems from the fact that in prehistoric times, our next meal was never certain, therefore it made sense to overeat.

That’s logical. It’s also understandable that after a person has beyond a healthy weight, another signal would arise to put a stop to their eating; after all, being sluggish, wheezing, and fat has little survival value. It’s only that this signal is more subtle and hence easier to overlook. (Fun fact: research suggests that exercise promotes weight reduction not only because it burns calories, but also because it reconnects individuals with their hunger/satiety signals; moving your body reconnects you with it.)

Indeed, it seems that all human systems – physical, psychological, mental, and emotional – convey signals toward health and away from illness; toward balance and away from being too reliant on one part at the expense of others.

You may become satiated on social media: get indigestion from viewing details that were previously private; feel like you’ll ralph if you see one more encouraging post accompanied with the “influencer’s” own staged photo.

You may feel choked by loneliness and solitude; glutted with the profane and material; sick of your timidity and passive inertia; and sickened by the quantity of porn in your life. You might feel both disgustingly full and terribly empty at the same time.  

Even now, there’s a part of your life that’s screaming for attention: “Basta!” “Enough!”

Listen. Back away from the table. And work toward what you actually want: connection, purpose, freedom, action, and health.