Mt Pleasant News
http://mt-pleasant-ia.villagesoup.com/p/is-this-really-progress/832962

Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 8, 2016

Is this really progress?

By Brooks Taylor

By BROOKS TAYLOR

Mt. Pleasant News

Progress can be defined several ways, but when I think of progress, I think of the enhancing of the quality of life.

One of the tools of progress is the cellphone. When I was growing up, we had rotary dial phones. That didn’t keep me, however, from talking with my parents frequently on the telephone.

Nowadays, I rarely talk on the phone to my daughters. Rather, I get text messages and naturally, I text back. So much for personal communication. Is this progress?

Thirty years ago, it was not unusual to see families gathered around the television at night. That was when television actually had shows worth watching. Reality TV was nowhere to be found.

Neither are families any longer gathered around the television set at night. Rather, the kids are either texting or surfing the net and many times, their parents are in different rooms doing exactly the same thing. Is this progress?

I never lifted one weight while playing five sports in high school and neither did my teammates or my opponents. The only weight I lifted was hay and straw bales during the summer while working on farms.

Today if you want to be an athlete, you must lift weights. Athletes gracing the court, diamond and gridiron now are without a doubt much stronger, quicker and faster than when I played.

Maybe that’s why we have more injuries and the NFL is on the brink of a gigantic lawsuit due to concussions. I never remember anyone suffering a torn ACL when I played sports. Heck, most of us did not even know what an ACL was.

Don’t get me wrong. I have done weight-training since high school and believe that in moderation, weights can be a great thing. But the key word is moderation. Athletes push the limit, reducing their flexibility and the elasticity of joints, muscles and ligaments. Hence, something has to give sometime.

I also have the hunch that protective equipment has not advanced as rapidly as athletic training programs. That is another reason we see so many injuries and concussions.

Sometime soon, the effect of sports, particularly pro football, is going to be debated in the court system. The outcome, I fear, won’t be pretty. Is this progress?

Before you deduct I have something against progress, the truth is that I don’t. But even progress has its drawbacks.