Seniors: How Much Do You Care About Your Health?

Sep 21st, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Posing the question suggests a suspicion.  Many in today’s culture give strong evidence to a lack of care to their health. The most dramatic evidence is found in the growing numbers of obese persons in every generation.   Much of the obesity epidemic has been created by a string of very bad cultural habits foisted upon the general public.  However, the general public makes choices and often those choices are to the detriment of that public.

Numerous other factors show that there is considerable apathy among and within the public over questions of healthy habits.  Too much inertia, lack of exercise, refusal to discover and live with a healthy diet, which begins with shopping habits, impulse buying, and quick to fix foods, often over the top with sodium, saturated fat and other offenders. This is the picture we draw for ourselves when we choose unhealthy eating habits.

Another matter that contributes to caring about our health, is to raise the question of our participation in contributing to a healthy society.  Indifference to the condition of others, like everything else in an interdependent world, will  eventually blow back on all of us.  A society that is indifferent to health, in all its dimensions, will suffer serious and irreversible consequences.

Apathy about social policy, particularly regarding issues of health coverage in a time when some 40 millions are without adequate or any coverage, is another serious contributor to evidencing caring about the health of the body politic.  That body, which makes up the whole of our society, must be included in appropriate care.  Lacking the desire, excusing the responsibility does not make for a healthy society.  Those who cry “I don’t want my tax dollar helping others,” are failing to pose the “do unto others” principle. Those who would ignore vast numbers in our culture who are in real danger of threatening health conditions are missing the point of being compassionate Americans. 

What would we do if our streets or highways went only so far as the boundaries of our normal travel?  What if city lighting were turned on only in those sections of town that is  the most affluent?  What if the benefits of community living , e.g. parks, pools, playgrounds were suddenly lifted from  use and enjoyment by those who don’t seem to pay their way? How healthy would our communities be? 

The considerations raised here are similar to a parable that is raised in Paul’s first letter to the  Corinthians, 12:14-18;  Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the   body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God has arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.”

The usefulness of this perspective is quite apart from theological considerations.  It is a means for having us recognize our interconnectedness.  Persons who believe that their lives are independent from all others, don’t begin to understand the nature of disease.  Disease spreads because of lack of interest in health, because of persons unable to address their conditions, because of germs that mutate and spread among the body politic. 

Isn’t it time that we began living as if we are, in fact, members one of another?



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