A good chunk of Americans are fat, broke and angry – a horrible way to live. But rather than making a handful of half-hearted New Year’s resolutions to amend the horror, folks can concentrate on a single resolution that has the power to soothe the world, or at least their souls.

Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Illustration Ryn Gargulinski

Stop the gobbling.

This resolution does not only apply to food, although that’s a good place to start.

A hefty 67 percent of Americans are overweight or obese. That’s more than half the population. That’s sick.

That’s also the result of supersize fries, half-pound burgers and dinner plates the size of Memphis that are swimming in butter and heaped to the brim. Portion control seems a foreign concept. When it comes to food, size really does matter.

The gobbling also applies to people’s possessions. Sadly, we are a culture built on material wants. The Joneses want a bigger house, car and pool than the Andersons. The rest of the neighborhood, of course, wants to keep up with the Joneses.

Folks get sucked into the material world and the quick fix of instant credit, amassing a mountain of belongings they cannot even afford.

Things start to control their owners, rather than the other way around.

Gobbling also applies to progress. Folks are eager to gobble up the latest gadget that keeps them connected, only a keypad away from the world.

These gadgets also, in turn, gobble up people’s time. Not many people even take a vacation these days without checking their e-mail, voicemail or whatever gadget feature they need to check at least once a day.

No wonder everyone is so angry.

Overweight folks may also be bitter because their poor bodies are in constant overload.

Broke folks may be irate because they spend their days ducking calls from collection agencies. The multi-tasking mavens may be mad they never have a spare moment to themselves.

If they’d all stop gobbling, they’d all be a lot less angry.

To ensure full success in the gobble-stopping, the underlying reason for gobbling needs to be addressed.

People often gobble because they are trying to fill a void in their soul. They may erroneously think this void can be sated with food, drink, drugs, sex or even material possessions – anything they can gobble up.

The American way of life, where bigger is better and more is best, only adds fodder to the gobbling.

People need to find ways to fill that void without buying into the gobbling culture. They can try to fill that void with love, friendship, quality time, helping others, meditation, spiritual connections or even petting and adoring a dog.

Anything that will help stop the gobbling.

Perhaps psychologist and author Mary Pipher summed it up best. “If we let culture just happen to us, we’ll end up fat, addicted, broke, with a house full of junk and no time.” Add anger into the mix, and we may be already there.

[tnipoll]

Ryn Gargulinski is a poet, artist, performer and TucsonCitizen.com Ryngmaster who is guilty of gobbling at thrift stores. Her column appears every Friday on Rynski’s Blogski and this editorial appears in the Jan. 4 issue of the Arizona Daily Star. Her art, writing and more is at RynRules.com. E-mail rynski@tucsoncitizen.com.

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