TagWhy

Why are race tracks called Downs?

I was watching a movie last week where there was a Downs I now can’t remember. I think it was in California somewhere and it struck my ear oddly.

Dover Downs is nearby. Churchill Downs hosts the Kentucky Derby every year. But this was a new Downs to me and it got me thinking. I understand where Park and Course come from, but downs?

Why are horse race tracks called downs?

From Who came up with downs? – Harness Racing Newsroom – USTA – USTROTTING

The British and the Irish.

The term downs comes from Great Britain and Ireland where around the year 1500, horse races were held on grassy plains before formal race tracks were built. These grassy areas were known as downs. Later, after real tracks were constructed (usually on the same sites) they named the track and kept the downs in the name. Probably the most famous track there was Epsom Downs which originated around 1661 and became famous for the big race they started known as “The Derby.” 

 

The question of “Why”

I originally wrote this in June 2009 when I was still dating the wonderful woman who would become my wife. I am attending a wedding this weekend of another young Mormon couple which got me to thinking about my own explorations into religion. I thought I would share them with you now.

The journey into why is a frightening one. For most of my life I have lived by the 10 Commandments. Not on a conscious level but as a general rule for how I conduct myself.

Most importantly, I have lived by the golden rule do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.

Treat people how you wish to be treated. I never really considered why I lived this way. I credit it to good parenting and upbringing. It always seemed like the right way to live. Why should I hurt others when I could work for the greater good? That way everyone benefits. I live for the greater good. I never really questioned why. Until now.

In recent months I’ve dipped my toes into religion. Don’t worry, I’m not going full on born again. I have explored Mormonism. My girlfriend is Mormon. The biggest reason is their belief of an eternal family. They believe once you die you go on living with your family forever. None of that “til death so us part” nonsense. The process is not automatic (and honestly not one I fully understand yet) and involves a temple marriage and being “sealed” to each other.

So once you’re sealed in a temple, you live with your family forever.

I’ve never given much thought to an afterlife but if there is one, being with your family sounds pretty good to me. Where is all thing back story taking us? The questioning of WHY?

Why do we live like we do? Why do we act as we do?

I often think about introspection and try to look inward as much as I can because It’s the key to understanding yourself. Part of that is questioning why.
I have not questioned myself why in a long time. I realized this as I found myself incredibly sad one Sunday afternoon and couldn’t figure out why. I had just come from church. And I was a mental mess. I just wasn’t feeling it.

I hear all the time of people speaking of the comfort religion brings them. I didn’t see it. Maybe I need to try harder.

In my discussion with my girlfriend she pointed out how I was basically a good person as far as religion goes. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink. Never touched drugs. I’m pretty boring.

The other trigger was the message from church itself. The message was about giving yourself to God and letting him into your life. The message was presented well and in a sensical, applicable way.

However, that is a main point of contention for me because I’ve seen it taken too far to often. You can’t expect God to run your own life. You can’t look at thing and go, “God will take care of me” and not help yourself. God will only take it so far. You need to help.

God will help you out and nudge you on the right direction. He will be your guide to life and try to push you down the right path. He won’t drove the car or be your GPS. He’ll ride along and suggest routes along the way.

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