Precarious Balance
by Jim Sullivan

     It’s basic nature: since time immemorial, opposites have kept our world in balance—men and women, young and old, Mutt and Jeff, matter and anti-matter, and watchers and doers.
     The last mentioned concerns human behavior. Generally, it falls either with those who would rather eyeball activity than participate in it, known as watchers, or with those who’d rather participate in activity than watch it, known as doers. We all belong to one group or the other.
     Until recently, our world was carefully divided between the two: 98% were watchers, 2% doers. This seemingly disproportionate division is what’s kept our world on an even keel. You see, there really isn’t enough room for more than 2% of the population to be doing things at any one time. But today, that working balance is shifting dangerously--the split between the two groups is rapidly approaching 90% watchers and 2% doers. This is not good. In fact, it’s bad, for it’s seriously upsetting the world’s activity equilibrium. And it all stems from far too many people, formerly watchers, taking up jogging.
     The question is, “Why?” Opinions abound, but mine rings truest to me. The burgeoning health and sports groups jointly are to blame. President Eisenhower warned us of the dangers from the military-industrial complex.  Now I’m sending out a warning about the dangers from the health-sports coalition. Why them? They have the most to gain from the increase in the number of runners. For example, it’s the health industry that gets paid to fix all those bones, muscles, heat prostration, etc. among those who used to be injury-free watchers. And the sports half of this coalition is earning vast amounts from the rental of its facilities and the sale of all that running equipment and togs. Those reasons are more than adequate incentive for the health-sports coalition to scandalously promote running, which is beginning to cause chaos in our daily lives.
     But running is good for you is merely bold propaganda from coalition flacks anyway. Before you buy into it, you should ask yourself, “Good for whom?” If you think long and hard enough, you may come to the same conclusion I did: “For the health-sports coalition, that’s who.”
     So weigh carefully all that you hear, especially from them. And remember this: they’re out to get you.

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