Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I recently had a brief online comment discussion with a colleague regarding health and the human experience. I had made a comment regarding a quote by Thomas Jefferson that used health as an analogy for a political issue.
The discussion evolved to considerations that essentially concerned the quality of health. We were each approaching the subject from different angles which pointed out some unique observational perspectives.
The World Health Organization defines health as: "Optimum physical, mental and emotional well-being, and not merely the absence of disease."
Some would see the word optimum and sense that it is a potentially unattainable state. If it is unattainable what does one have if not at the "optimum" level? Is it a lack of health? Does one lack for enjoyment if not at optimum? Should one self criticize if not there?
It seems there is a sliding scale involved. And like all things a sliding scale may be applied to, the level of comfort, contentment, or happiness on the scale is determined by the one experiencing it. This allows one to be both content with what has been achieved, as well as the option to pursue greater.
And ultimately a point that many have often overlooked, is that simply being disease-free is not the equivalent of being healthy. The sliding scale is like a flowing river, nothing is static. Your choices and actions are constantly moving you toward greater or lesser health.
Both the quantity and duration of abnormal functions are factors leading to states one may label as disease. But on the sliding scale, one must often move for quite a period of time through "less health" before reaching that label state.
Are you healthy during that period?
Health, like life itself, requires constant effort.
It's never too late to do a good thing.