I’m an avid nature observer and it occurred to me the other day that I have never seen an obese squirrel, bird or other wild animal in my yard. Perhaps I am mistaken, but it seems that when one lives a wild life full of the constant urgency to locate food and shelter, the possibility of reflecting a state of sustained over indulgence in your appearance doesn’t seem possible.
It leads back to colorings of perception. When you see someone who is clearly obese, in olden times there were those that envied them – they clearly had the means to over indulge. Nowadays it seems more likely that the reaction would be judgmental – you’re lazy, you don’t exercise and take care of yourself etc.
I often think that wild life are never plagued by the stress of leisure. Each day they know they have to eat and have a place to sleep. They are clear goals with no alternate options for slacking off. As for us, for the most part our food and shelter needs are in place, so what then? Leisure time can be filled in a variety of ways, but there are still countless times in our lives when we while away precious time with no sense of purpose at all. At times when I watch the squirrels it is I who envies them.
Yet when you consider it, the homeless face the arduous task of finding food and shelter every day. They aren’t things they have the opportunity to take for granted. Yet although their goals of the day are of far greater urgency than mine, I never envy them.