Way back before capitalism, it used to be that self-welfare was the key part of our lives. We would face formidable physical and situational challenges and have to endure them, alone and with our tribe. It was likely those trials were the most meaningful experiences for our prior relatives— the very thing they could depend on and take comfort in. Today we’ve lost that ability. Comfort is handed to industries that insulate us for a fee. We spend money and depend on hermetically sealed homes, cars, drugs, food and clothing. If things get rough we rely on doctors, pills, and booze. But recently, there’s a rising voice that we’ve come to the end of the Western Medical Model. An awareness that those things don’t make life better anymore. That there are other roads. Some, like this week’s guest Wim Hof, believe it’s time to tap back into our natural abilities. That they’ve been forgotten. If there’s anyone that knows about getting out of their comfort zone, it’s him. His journey started when--with four children at home--his wife took her life by jumping out an eight story window. To deal with his grief, he went out into the extreme cold. Since then, he’s shown through examples of enduring extreme cold like being submerged in ice for nearly two hours or using his mind to ward off disease, that anyone has amazing power to face anything and literally self-regulate. He’s now using the best scientists in the world to back up what he’s learned and therefore challenge science, culture and the very industries we’ve come to assume are the answer.
Today, our culture puts all its value on science. Those are the classes and jobs that pay. But it’s our poetry that for hundreds of years, has upset the establishment’s apple cart, that has brought us close together and created a sense of community and experience of being alive that nothing else can in the same way. It’s Poets that have challenged us to think differently. Recently, our National attention gets inspired by the poetry shared at revolutions in Washington whether it’s MLK’s “I have a dream,” during the Human Rights March of 1963, Maya Angelou’s, “On the Pulse of Morning,” who followed Robert Frost as the second poet ever to read at a president’s inauguration or this week’s guest, Elizabeth Alexander, the only other poet to read following Bill Clinton’s presidency when she read “Praise Song for the Day” at our country’s first black President, Barak Obama’s inauguration.