Personal Health and Self-responsibility.


Everyone desires to have impeccable health, a clean slate of health reminiscent of when one was very young. And this is born of the realization, as the old axiom says, that health is wealth. This wealth from robust wholeness is sadly often thought of only in terms of material gains. However to the observant and those who do any form of devotional or spiritual practices, it is evident that good health helps one open the gates of heaven. In fact, a sound constitution enables one to live in a state of bliss on a daily basis. But how does one get to this health dreamland? Many are seeking and striving for unblemished health, but few get it. The unsuccessful are apt to look at those with any degree of health as ” lucky” and they are ”unfortunate”. This strand of reasoning seems to suggest that being strong and flourishing is a matter of chance, that God, our collective creator, seems to favor some people while being biased against others. If you ask my opinion, I think a healthy body, mind and spirit is consciously chosen. Our personal choices and preferences militate for or against our being healthy or unhealthy. It is not a question of praying for miracles to lift one out of a dismal situation, nor is it government that will degree that all be healthy or wishful thinking. Health stems from self-care- knowing your body, its strengths and limitations, what is good for it as opposed to the recommendations of others, what to do to keep the human machine in good working condition for as long as desirable. You heard me right – for as long as desirable- for everyone has the will and capability to use his instrument of expression- the body- for as long as his choices and preferences are on the upward trend. Against this backdrop is those people who relegate their health concerns to other individuals or to God and when everything goes wrong they curse – God has let them down, they who love God so much.

Striving for perfect health is like climbing a staircase. Nobody wants to stay in the lower rungs while the goal is to reach the uppermost stair. However reaching the uppermost stair requires conscious effort. If the subject doesn’t pay attention, taking care to place his or her foot well, the outcome may be tripping, falling and perhaps rolling back down to the bottom stair. The same attention should necessarily be paid to one’s health or the result will be catastrophic. Yet there are those who believe that with all the neglect of their health, with a track record of bad choices, somehow things will fall in place in a miraculous way. Nothing can be further from the truth as far as this faulty thinking goes.

Modern life has made many individuals bone-lazy. Countless are the people who have surrendered decisions about their health and well being to other individuals, the state or some corporation. Everything of importance in their lives is outsourced, even their health security. The dependency is so huge that people need to be told what to eat, what to drink, what to take as medicine and even how to exercise. The outcome is that a great number of people have stopped listening to their bodies and coming to terms with what the body needs naturally. No doubt it is necessary to consult a doctor and even have a personal doctor- and they are indispensable- but at least one should have a say in one’s own health, and at times even differ with the health practitioner. The truth is that everyone owns his or her body and knows intimately some of the things that occur inside the body and so can sometimes stir the ship of health in a direction he feels safe for him or her. Needless to add that many who have taken the word of their personal doctor or some other health professional as gospel truth have found themselves sacrificed on the altar of dependency. So while it is necessary to consult health professionals, one should also try to be part of the cause of the health he or she enjoys. In this way one avoids being a mindless cork in the wheel of the medico-pharmaceutical industry to some extent.

What can actually be said that is not already known in the hearts of those who desire health? Knowledge of to do to be healthy seems to be innate since everyone wants the best for themselves, even if they are lazy, dependent, or negligent. It is nonetheless worthwhile to repeat some of those things that will help some people rein in their health — be interested enough in your own health for it is through your body that your express yourself, be selective as regards what goes into the temple of clay that we call bodies, perform activities that will act as a lubricant to the smooth functioning of the body, don’t be dogmatic or conventional when it comes to healing the sick body, as much as possible try to eat natural foods, do research on natural food and herbs that keep the body healthy and strong(the internet abounds with a lot of information to help one take care of one’s health) and maintain a positive state of mind. No pretense can be made that the foregoing recommendations are exhaustive. The bottom line is that it is incumbent on everyone to be cause and not effect as far as health is concerned.

Londi Charles Ndifon