I write a weekly newspaper column. Thirteen plus years ago it started as a health and fitness column. Since then, I’ve branched out and the column covers many topics. I’ve often wondered if the title “Health Wise” is inappropriate?
Healthwise…what does that have to do with improving your car’s MPG, volunteering on organic farms, living lightly on the earth or traveling to small towns and giving information about might benefit their vision of where they want the town to go.
Simply put, everything is connected to everything else.
In our culture, we’ve come to believe that we can disconnect one part from another, that we can remove a part and still be healthy, disconnect a sensor in our car or dumb down a sensory reaction in our body with drugs and still expect it to work as designed.
If we look at the overall picture of the universe, we find that all things have a common thread and they all work from a common foundation. Our cars are designed by us, then reflect and work the way we envisioned them to. That design comes from our basic human design. There are certain ways that the human body works best and the things that we’ve designed and built through the ages are no different.
We have evolved, for those who are evolutionists, over hundreds of thousands of years. During that time we walked, worked, ate, slept and made love in a natural state. In the last hundred or so years, all that has been in a rapid timeframe of change. Now, instead of walking and doing physical labor we sit, and most of what we do is connected with exercising mentally and not physically.
We seem to have lost track of the fact that all things are connected. When we buy something we can’t afford, usually because someone else has one or we’re convinced by an ad that we can’t possibly live without it, we add stress to our lives. If we traded in our car that got 12 MPG for one that got 20 MPG the last time gas went up and then traded if off for one that got 12 MPG when the price went back down and now we’re buying one that gets 20 MPG again because the price went back up, we’re thinking exactly as we’ve been programmed to think. When the price of gas goes up, our reasoning powers seem to go down and we knee jerk out. When we’ve failed to take care of our physical, mental, emotional or spiritual health (religion and spirituality are not the same) and the price of care goes up, allow others to run our lives. If we insist on watching bad news and something, somewhere on the other side of the world happens, we stress react.
When we lived in NE Oregon, I knew a man who’d been a bull rider when he was younger. By the time I met him, he was badly crippled. Hs wife had to help him out of bed, tie his shoes and was his full-time caregiver. It was obvious she held a lot of resentment because of his choices that lead to her choices. She had choices, the same as we all do, but felt trapped. She believed that others would think badly of her if she left, and she was probably right, but it was eating on her, she was sick a lot and looked much older than she really was. Dilemmas like these come up in our lives all the time. The question is, what do we do about them? Do we let resentment add stress to our life? Stressors come in many forms and any of them can cause us to fall into a state of ill health, if we don’t get them out in the open where we can deal with them.
One of the choices the lady in Oregon had was to be up front and truthful with her husband. Maybe, they could’ve come to an agreement that would be workable for both of them. It would’ve been a difficult situation, though. When I talked to the man, he was still proud that he’d “Ridden them bulls”, even though he’d spent most of his adult life in a wheel chair. If we bury our problems, nothing is ever resolved. If we bring the subject up in a way that’s not confrontational, we have at least a fifty-fifty chance that it might be resolved.
I remember an instance when I was about twelve years old. Close to where I was living in southern California, they were putting in a subdivision and had cut into a bank at the end of a paved road. The top of the cut was five or six feet high. A couple of boys I went to school with had made a path down the hill above the cut and were using the bank like a ski ramp with their bicycles. I was asked if I was going to do it, too, and when I told them “No,” they said, “What are you, a chicken?” About a week later, one of them crashed and spent some time in the hospital. About two weeks after that the other one crashed doing the same thing in another location, broke his arm and scarred his face badly. Did they remember the lessons and live a long and healthy life? I don’t know, they both moved away and I never saw them again.
Not long after we moved from NE Oregon, a friend told me the man had died and the woman had sold their house and moved away. Hopefully, she learned from her experiences and was able to enjoy a happy and long life.