Our collective mindset: provided we are not in the Emergency Department of our local hospital or in a hospital or long term care facility bed (aka nursing home bed), then we are healthy! Taking pills… we still consider ourselves healthy. On diets and/or taking supplements… nope, still healthy. Needing regular medical appointments… nope, still healthy. Needing regular allied health professional appointments (e.g. physiotherapy, chiropractic, massage, etc)…. nope still healthy. Overweight but can still fit into my clothes… still healthy. Obese, well maybe I need to lose a few pounds but… nope, still healthy. Have 1, maybe 2, even 3 health ‘issues’ or diagnoses… nope, still healthy. Dealing with any mental impairments or dysfunction… all’s good, still healthy. Relationships falling apart… still healthy. Finances falling apart… still healthy. But wait! To prove just how oh-so healthy we are… we hire personal trainers to whip us into beach body shape, or we hire coaches to whip us into completing a marathon, grandfondo or an iron-distance triathlon so we can put on display our immaculate health.
Basically it comes down to this… no matter what sort of diagnosis we have, no matter what sort of pills we are taking and no matter what sort of side effects those pills have, no matter what sort of ongoing scans, appointments, or treatments we need to receive… we are healthy!
The Total Perversion of Health
– achieved by Western Civilization circa 2020 –
Once upon a time, we defined health differently… it was a state of thriving, a state of exquisite physical strength and endurance, of flexible and fluid thinking, creativity, skill, spontaneity and emotional stability, marked by resilience, capacity and wisdom. Health used to be prized. Health used to be pursued. Health used to be valued.
Once upon a time, it was said that if you didn’t have your health… you had nothing. What happened? Ahhh, right… ‘work’ was made a dirty word, something only fools do, something those not ‘naturally talented’ or ‘gifted’ have to do, something those who aren’t Freedom 55ers have to do. Short-cuts, low hanging fruit and the endless pursuit of more replaced health as the ‘must haves’ and besides we’ve been sold that money can buy health… right? Can’t it?
Now, the simple appearance of health – cosmetic health – is good enough. The low-hanging fruit mindset which asks why bother investing in anything long term, sells the mindless hype of jumping from one short term goal to the next as the key to success, the key to contentment and deep satisfaction. Well, how is that working out? Does anyone seem so satisfied with life that their joy overwhelms? With the World Health Organization (WHO) stating that anxiety and depression are about to be – if they aren’t already – the top two medical diagnoses globally, seems the low-hanging fruit mindset isn’t all that it sells itself to be.
And then this…