America is getting weaker
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          My father was a strong man. Strong back, legs, arms, hands.
          He had worked hard since he was fifteen years old.
          When I got old enough to notice and care I saw dad mowing our lawns with a push mower. He painted the houses where we lived, inside and out.
          He coached our little league team and ran the bases faster than us kids. He was in his forties at the time.
          If the old television set went on the blink he lifted it off its base, opened the back and removed the tubes and checked them. He opened doors with his hands and arms, drove his non-power steering and non-power brake car. Dad fixed our cars and his friends’ cars. He jacked them up, crawled under them, changed oil and tuned them himself.
          Like I said, dad was a strong man.
          There aren’t many strong men left in America. Life has become so easy that going to the gym is the only way that most of us can acquire some sort of physical conditioning. The natural efforts involving day to day activities are being replaced by solenoids, electric motors, computers and people from foreign lands who do our heavy lifting.
          It’s difficult to find a door to the local market that requires an ounce of strength to open it – it opens by itself and closes automatically behind you.
          Drivers in mall parking lots race to find the empty space closest to the store front so they won’t have to walk twenty feet from the car to the store.
          Few people today have to bend over and dig in the soil for a potato for dinner or reach up for an apple on a tree. Now all we do is drive (not walk) to the super market and place a sack of potatoes or apples in our cart and check out. There is even an offer to have a young lad carry our purchases to our car so we don’t have to exert ourselves too much, after all, we did push the cart to the check out stand!
          The landscaping of our homes and neighborhoods is done by foreign men who do the bending and lifting. Their muscles get exercised. Our fingers write the checks.
          Our automobiles have become condos on wheels. Electric windows, electric doors, radio and plugs for the computer. Shamefully easy to drive with television sets, cup holders built in and little TV screens on the dashboard that show anything behind us. God forbid we would have to strain by turning our heads to the rear. Mothers can pick up their children from school in their spacious “Mini” vans or SUVs large enough to require a street address of their own. You’ve seen them, cell phone in one hand, a Starbuck’s coffee cup in the other, using their knees to steer their three tons of steel going down the road.
          At the airport, we park nearby or get dropped off. We pull our luggage on rolling wheels and hop on moving sidewalks to our plane. No lifting, no walking. No muscles used to speak of.
          At home we hire someone to clean our houses and watch our children. All it takes is for husband and wife to be employed and we pay someone else to do the physical work inside and outside our homes. Even with the tough financial condition of our country we insist on others doing our physical chores.
          Americans can go days and weeks without lifting, without pushing, without getting our heart rates above “S-L-U-G.”
          Can anyone imagine having to tear themselves off the couch to manually change television channels as they did before the remote was invented? Move off the couch. Egad!
          More and more our markets are being filled with ready to eat foods. Easy to open bags and boxes of prepared meals. We barely have to exert ourselves to cook our dinners. The exercise for the day is pushing a button on the microwave.
          So what does all of this mean? It means that we are quickly gravitating to a country seriously out of shape, unable to lift, pull or run. At the same time the citizens of our neighboring nations are using their muscles. They’re capable of physical exertion. We’re not.
          I don’t know if the residents of ancient Rome paid others to do their physical work. I don’t know if the ancient Romans just sat around throwing Christians to the lions, but I think they got fat and soft – and that led to them losing their empire.
          The question I have is, “Can a nation filled with fat and out of shape citizens survive when faced with a foe (or foes) with muscles?”