You Are Here!
Smart gals and guys have been sitting around shooting this shit about the big “whys” for, oh, about 25 centuries now, at least that’s what a few books on the subject say. Since ‘shooting the shit’ isn’t an official job title, the only way to make a living with all this thinking was to make folks think it was important. So they called themselves ‘philosophers,’ which is the combination of philos, a popular doughy pastry containing apples and sheep livers, and gophers, who we all know represented sagacity to early civilizations (who else but brilliant creatures would bury themselves underground?). The marketing spin at the time was to make deep thought akin to eating smartness. Sort of arrogant, but it caught on.
(it actually means the love of wisdom, but what kind of story is that? BORING, that’s what!)
One of the big ‘whys’ for these doughy rodents was the classic “why are we here?” Eventually a few folks took a step back and decided that it might be a better idea to prove that we were, indeed, here to begin with, only then can we start figuring out why. They pinched each other a bit, and that convinced the lesser thinkers, but the larger brains needed more proof than that.
Along came Descartes, who, before his more famous slogan of “I think therefore I am,” had a similar premise, but one that was much harder to prove:
“Locatio ergo sum.” I’m here, therefore I am.
This quest for validation is like a perpetual drive for the human condition. As we breath we also seem to need other ways to know that we are actually here. As very young tots, we quickly learned that pooping the pants brought about attention from other life forms helping confirm our existence. As our awareness of proper interaction improved (when making number 2 publicly was less acceptable), we slowly acquired new ways of affirming our place on this planet. We developed a toolbox of recognizing ourselves, from possibly dangerous ideas like riding our BMX bikes into trees, to beautifully simple ideas, like going to the mall.
See, the mall had a marvel of 20th century deep thought that would have kept Descartes on his original premise. To this talisman of validity would I make a pilgrimage whenever I could. Nothing confirms the most basic philosophical question than a map with a little red arrow stating “You are Here.” Simple, utterly true, and easy to read. Not even Maslow’s here-and-nowness had anything on the Ideo Locator for confirming that we are, indeed, here.
Since spending hours hanging around malls, airports and anyplace big enough for a map seems to make people nervous, especially people with badges who don’t grok the concept of simple validation, there needed to be a better way to feel truly present. The iron spoke, as it is want to do. It beckoned to be moved, and simply refused to listen to the argument that gravity held it tight. Answering this call to arms (and legs, spine, spirit and sweat)proves that there ain’t nothing like a good dose of intensity to point the big red arrow right at you while your soul cries “YOU ARE HERE… now put the fucking weight down before I crawl out of here and incarnate somewhere else.”
We can all have a personal ideo locator, like a life-affirming GPS of intensity, whether it be that max deadlift, that steep trail hike or that pool of sweat that you’re currently adding to. Keep your eyes open and mind open. Are you here? Prove it!