Gerald has stopped watching television. More specifically, his cable is disconnected.
He mentioned this domestic detail during an office web meeting. People are shocked, he says, when they discover he’s not familiar with popular dramas and sitcoms.
It’s the same reaction as when good-time Charlies get irritated if you’re not drinking or, say, eating meat.
Gerald is OK with the negative feedback. In the absence of the siren call of the glowing screen, he’s getting things done, getting out more, serving on a non-profit board.
And just think of the incessant presidential-campaign coverage he’s missing. (Why do reporters always interview voters in diners, by the way? Because Americans spend so much time on their butts, eating?)
Parking ourselves on our posteriors for hours on end is worse for us than we thought, or so we learned late last year. Not only do we get “broad in the beam,” as the old folks used to say, sitting for extended periods also does irreparable damage to our innards.
In this month dedicated to heart health, that’s a point to consider — and another reason to take a stand.
What might we stand for?
> Expecting more of ourselves.
> Buying local. (If store merchandise costs a little more than online versions, consider the rebate you get in the form of merchants hiring your neighbors and paying local taxes, which bolsters your property value.)
> Supporting Detroit artists. Their ability to make a living from their craft feeds a vibrant community.
What can’t we stand?
> People who discard their “I â¤ N.Y.” souvenirs for cold-hearted reasons.
> Allowing distractions to cloud the issues.
Damaging, unproductive distractions are another reason to unplug, stand up, and focus.
As this issue was going to press, City of Detroit finances were about to be scrutinized by a specially appointed review board.
Like the effects of chair time on cardiovascular systems, apparently sitting still for too long also means a scalpel may be necessary for municipal budgets. What sort of doctor do we want to cure our clogged financial arteries? One with a friendly bedside manner or an expert trained to handle our specific ailment? That dilemma became the subject of nearly as much debate as what we did to get so bloated in the first place.
As the doctors will tell us, the best way to avoid emergency intervention is to be careful managers of our own systems.
That means standing up while we’re also standing for something.