Author Topic: New LVPK Article: Ability in Modern Culture  (Read 1247 times)

Offline Adam McC

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New LVPK Article: Ability in Modern Culture
« on: November 22, 2009, 06:13:26 PM »
     The Necessity of Physical Ability in Modern Culture


     As traceurs, we put priority on the ability to physically react to any situation, and be as capable as possible to adapt and flow with whatever situation arises. What’s more is that some consider this to be revolutionary in concept. We speak of our abilities as though it’s something incredible, something that few other members of society do. We set ourselves apart. Why is that? What makes us assume we are so prepared when others are just robots of society walking on sidewalks and up escalators? Simple. The evolution of our culture.

     Historians agree that American society has clearly moved from an agricultural society to a manufacturing society: production and consumption. While once our livelihoods were built on plantations and farms, and the growing of crops and supplies, we now live lives of production and consumption. A couple of centuries ago, a family was a unit of production, and the bigger the family, the more business and progress could be made. If there are more sons to work the fields and more daughters to knit the textiles, the economy thrived. But since that time, we have moved to different economical positions. Now, a family is a unit if consumption, and the larger the family, the greater the expense. More sons and daughters means more food to purchase and educations to pay for; more clothing to buy and accessories to attain. Because everything is a trade in our society, money for items, it makes us dependent and reliant on others for both safety and success.

     This is why the philosophies behind Parkour feel so revolutionary to this generation. Not since the days of agricultural society were we responsible for only ourselves. It was our own work in our own field that made us successful. We needed no employers, no unions, and no wages. This means that in order to survive, humankind needed to be able and capable. If a man’s understanding of the seasons were not up to par, his gardens would not prosper, and he would starve. If a man was not physically able to care for his crops, he would starve. It was a necessity to be adept and capable.

     In today’s society we are given a great many choices. If we are not physically capable of strenuous work, we may sit behind a desk and answer phones or type on computers for a living. If we are not of intellectual sharpness, we may dig holes in roads or drive trucks. Flipping hamburgers and filling cups with soda arguably requires significantly less ability that the work of old. And should we fail at that profession, we have the ability to choose another job, and continue earning our way through the world. This wiggle-room within our freedom allows for a lack of responsibility, due to an increase of ease in our world. Increasing levels of obesity in America stand as evidence to this. While a more complex environment stimulates our minds and raises the average IQ, it is no longer required to be consistently physically capable in order to survive. Literal survival in America is almost guaranteed, no matter your skill or ability.

     This is why it is so important to sustain our individual drive for skill and ability, to ensure our stability as human beings, and be as prepared and ready for anything that comes our way, whether a natural obstacle, or an obstacle of society, in the literal and figurative sense. When we achieve this, and only then, are we are strong enough to be useful.


-Adam McC
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Offline Aaron Hrinda

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Re: New LVPK Article: Ability in Modern Culture
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2009, 07:41:40 PM »
as a Pennsylvanian, I applaud your insight.
This is spectacular, and sums up a lot of things.

I mean think about it, my wife's grandfather was
a barber, and many other things in his life, and back then,
as you stated, you had to work to survive.

 For him, it was a point of pride that he could execute a
standing jump over his barbers chair, or hold a chair by a leg in one hand.

 And he would always challenge people to a foot race.

 Don't get me wrong, I love video games, but we have lost something.
 I remember teaching Tang Soo Do to some kids when I was in high school
(it's what the black belts do) and I had a chubby kid I was instructing start crying.
I asked him what was wrong, worried that he had hurt himself.
He told me it was because he was sweating.

Most of America has lost something with our "guaranteed survival".
I'm glad I found this community and found my focus again.
"être fort pour être utile"
                           -Georges Hébert 
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Offline Adam McC

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Re: New LVPK Article: Ability in Modern Culture
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2009, 08:28:54 PM »
Wow. That's quite a story, with the chubby kid! I can relate though. I teach martial arts as well, and I cannot tell you how many complaints I get from kids because they're sweating. I'm like.. "Good! Geez! That's the best sign that you're doing it right!"

Where in PA are you? I'm in Allentown.

Thanks for the comments! Glad this article makes sense to someone other than just me. ;)

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Offline Ashley McCauley

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Re: New LVPK Article: Ability in Modern Culture
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2009, 09:30:43 PM »
Great article. :) It reminds me of my grandfather and what he does. Granted he is a carpenter now but he has told me stories of how his family had to survive with working on their farm. I enjoyed this article alot and has opened my eyes even more to our society.
“Run your fingers through my soul. For once, just once, feel exactly what I feel, believe what I believe, perceive as I perceive, look, experience, examine, and for once; just once, understand."

Offline Aaron Hrinda

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Re: New LVPK Article: Ability in Modern Culture
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2009, 10:17:55 PM »
Wow. That's quite a story, with the chubby kid! I can relate though. I teach martial arts as well, and I cannot tell you how many complaints I get from kids because they're sweating. I'm like.. "Good! Geez! That's the best sign that you're doing it right!"

Where in PA are you? I'm in Allentown.

Thanks for the comments! Glad this article makes sense to someone other than just me. ;)

heh, that was back in like '94-'95 so I have no idea where he is now. I think that was the last time I ever had that complaint too.

Currently, I am over in Bloomsburg, though I work in Williamsport.

But yeah, I agree totally with this!
"être fort pour être utile"
                           -Georges Hébert 
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