Last weekend I posted an entry about going barefoot in the summer. I received several comments (on this site and other places I'd posted my link) that referred to the benefits of "earthing". I'd never heard the term before so I went to Google to check it out. It turns out earthing means going barefoot. More specifically, there's a school of thought that believes there are ways that our bodies benefit from being in direct contact with the earth and its negative charge. That's about as much of it as I understand. I'm not writing this to argue one way or the other and give my opinion on earthing. I wanted to write this post not to discuss earthing as a"treatment" but to ask: Shouldn't we be doing things we enjoy simply because they make us feel good?
What I was struck by while reading articles on the subject was how often I saw something along the lines of "Haven't you ever wondered why you feel so good after walking barefoot on a beach?" For me that was a no brainer. Well, it feels good because you're at the beach! There are so many factors involved that it's impossible to say why you feel good. I'm sure there are people who don't enjoy going to the beach or walking on sand. It seems to me that our culture has created a need for something to be beneficial in some tangible way to justify doing something you enjoy. I think it's because society puts so much emphasis on productivity and responsibility that we often feel guilty for "wasting" time or money doing something simply for our own enjoyment. I know I struggle with that from time to time as well.
When I go barefoot, it's simply because I enjoy it. I had never thought about it any further than that. It makes me feel good. Maybe there's something scientific about why, but if so that's just a bonus. Labeling something and declaring "You must do this to be healthy" takes the fun out of it a little bit. Similarly I eat fruit because it tastes good. Sure, I know I get vitamins from it but I don't pause every time I'm about to eat some strawberries and think about their health benefits. I just think "Yay for strawberries!" Similarly, I won't eat something that's supposedly good for me if I don't like it. Everyone is different and that's awesome. Doing things that you enjoy is essential to living a full life. Who cares what those are or why you're doing them?