Growing up in the Midwest, health was a matter of what we could endure.
We were healthy because we made it through a long cold winter, which builds character. As long as we did not break any bones or bleed very much, we were healthy. We were breathing, and we could keep going.
Now I live in Southern California, where we measure health differently. Traditional and nontraditional, Eastern and Western; we have a wide variety of health we can choose. Physical, emotional, mental, financial, spiritual health; we keep track of our health statistics. Our health is about our numbers and the direction in which they are trending.
No matter where we live, we often view health as something we accomplish, or even earn. If we spend enough time focusing on the right things in the right way, we will be healthy. It is as if we get so many points for each time we do something right and lose points for each time we do something wrong. Health is a bargain that we negotiate, a quid pro quo. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
We do not live and behave in certain ways to deserve health. Our practices are most often the results of our being healthy, not the causes of it.
One of the reasons we focus on health so much is that it is outside our control. We can do things to help strengthen our health; we cannot determine whether or not we are, or will remain, healthy. We do not accumulate points for eating wisely and exercising that we can cash in to stay physically healthy. People who exercise and eat well get sick, too.
How do you measure your health?
What will you do to focus on your health today?
[Image by Micky **]