The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Equinox - An Exercise in Treating People With Equality

Today is the equinox. As the earth continues on its yearly path around the Sun, the center of the disk of the Sun passed over the Earth's equator at 1:48 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time this morning (March 20, 05:48 Universal Time). At the date of the equinox, night and day are approximately equal length all over the world (small variations for refractive effects). The Northern Hemisphere begins Spring, while the Southern Hemisphere begins the shorter days of Fall. Each day, for the next three months, days will become a few minutes longer and nights shorter in the Northern hemisphere. Our Southern Hemisphere friends will have longer nights each night until the Solstice in June.

Japan celebrates six days of the Spring equinox (shunbun no hi). Graves are visited during the week to reflect on looking forward and back. The six days are based on the six perfections: giving, observance of virtuous teachings, perseverance, effort, contemplation, and wisdom. Nowruz, in various spellings, is a major Spring observance among many Eastern religions. Nowruz comes from Persian words meaning "new daylight." Observances may date to at least 15,000 years ago. Diverse Indo-European cultures celebrated the Spring Goddess-mother and source of returning life. In the West, many observe the return of Spring and life with symbols of eggs, birth, passing, and rebirth.

The equinox is a fitting time to reflect on equality. That does not mean that everyone must get the same shoe size, but that you consider someone of higher or lower social rank with the same respect.

There is a story that at the end of the final exam of the finest MBA program in the country, was one question, "What is the name of the person who cleans the floors of this building?" Anyone not able to answer this did not get a degree that semester.

Do you say hello to the people who work so hard to make a beautiful place for you to learn and work? Do you care who they are? They are a special human being like you are. Learn their name. Say hello. See the difference it makes to them and to your world outlook.

Happy equinox.

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Equinox child photo by La Perle, Le Paon
Egg photo by hushed_lavinia
Special person photo by Juin Hoo
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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.