“I’m an indoor human,” I joke occasionally. Only thing is—it’s not a joke. I am!

I’m sure this will all change by necessity when I have kids and spend more time outdoors, but I don’t want to react to life, I want to create it, and I don’t like the idea of being an indoor human.

There are problems with being an indoor human.

Being an indoor human is deluding. We forget about the real environment when we’re indoor humans. We don’t look at the stars and stare in amazement, and think about life on our fragile, tiny planet. We don’t wonder about where all the trash we throw away goes. We don’t get valuable sun and fresh air. And typically we don’t get enough activity.

I just spent five days in Mexico being an outdoor human. Of course, I had to apply sunscreen and seek out la sombra to avoid the sun as much as possible, but I was an outdoor human. I got well over 10,000 steps per day. My feet, calves, and legs got plenty of work. I got plenty of fresh air. My whole perspective changed.

2013-April-Mexico- Justin beach_small

If you’re an office worker, you might spend your days in an uninspiring cubicle environment. If you’re a factory worker, you spend your days in an oppressive time- and metric-driven environment. If you’re a truck driver, you’re in your truck, on your butt all day. A teacher? In her classroom. It goes on.

And then, we come home to our castles. We shut ourselves in. Some live in apartments and don’t have any reason to go outside and trim the grass or plant flowers. Many don’t reach out to their neighbors except for an occasional wave as we drive by, indoors, in our cars.

So, we’re indoor humans. So what? Isn’t this just a natural evolution of humanity? Where one day it’ll be all mind-driven and if we trash our environment we’ll just inhabit space as Stephen Hawking is talking about?

I for one hope not.

We need to pull away. Pull away from the lure of the device—the tablet, the smartphone—in your hand, and open your eyes and look at your environment closely. The physical environment. Your body. Your food. Your house. Your neighborhood. Your community. Your office building. The people surrounding you. The amount of trash you’re creating.

Instead of inward oriented, we need to be outward oriented. Instead of indoor humans, we need to be outdoor humans.