Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Motion is the Key to Freedom of the Mind
Over the past week or so we have started discussing the art of peripatetic philosophy. Reading A Philosophy of Walking and Gymnasiums of the Mind have really made me look at walking in a whole new light.
A Philosophy of Walking goes in depth about walking in general and how we as a society have turned it into a competition rather than a leisurely activity to promote healthy thinking and to clear our minds. The author portrays walking as a getaway, which it should be. Gros does the act of walking no better justice than by giving the title of chapter two “freedom”. Walking should be a time to let our thoughts roam free. Walking should free us from the shackles of the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Walking with a clear mind and no set destination should be the time we feel most liberated. I too am guilty of not taking walking as a time to relax and meditate, but as a competition against the clock with the prize being that of getting to my destination on time. I think if we all could take the time to just walk aimlessly, our minds along with our bodies would thank us.
In Gymnasiums of the Mind, Christopher Orlet mentions that the average American only walks 350 yards a day. This shockingly small statistic sheds light on our failing mental and physical health as a country. 350 yards clearly leaves no time for the mind to wander. And on top of the lack of mental exercise we're receiving by not walking, not taking the time out to walk is taking a toll on our physical well-being too. We as a country struggle with obesity and with a little bit of walking, our country could and would be in a lot better shape.