Human Pack-Mules

a mule

a mule (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Just in case you don’t know what a pack-mule is – let me explain.  A pack-mule was a mule which was used to carry heavy loads long ago when people traveled mainly by horseback or walking.  You have probably seen pictures of these little darlings with prospectors and fur traders.  People didn’t want to carry all that stupid stuff themselves – things like pick axes, shovels, food supplies for an entire winter and anything else needed to survive.  These strong little animals carried huge loads in saddle bags and other packs which were thrown over their backs.

Now that you have that image in your head, let’s talk about what I see every day – human beings carrying HUGE backpacks full of God-Knows-What.  People – usually students – bent over from the load of loads of books, probably clothes, maybe lunch – stuff which is perceived to be needed to “survive” the day.  This isn’t just high school and college students, but also grade school kids!  In fact, a backpack is on the list of required items for PRE-SCHOOL!

When did it become necessary to carry everything with us, every day — to think that we needed to load ourselves down like a pack-mule going with the prospectors for winter?  I always wonder how stooped over these individuals will be when they reach their older years – and I don’t mean their 70’s or 80’s — I mean their 30’s and 40’s.  The human back is not designed to carry 30-40 pounds of ‘stuff’ every day!  When a child’s backpack weighs more than that child — isn’t it time to say ENOUGH?


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