What the devil is health?
Well, in case somebody expects a lecture on this, they have another thing coming! Today – in the midst of rapid acceleration of COVID-19 infections and deaths worldwide, I decide to ask a few people ‘What is health?‘ I’m a bit naughty, asking stupidly simple questions like that.
Not surprisingly respondents gave the following sorts of answers:
- Bodily health.
- Integrity of the body.
- Optimising body to its best.
- “It depends”
- Statements about what bad health is.
None of the respondents could put together a comprehensive picture of what health is, in less than 50 words. No single respondent included all of the above 4. No one thought of national health. Most people focused on bodily health. Only one respondent included something about mental health. One other of my colleagues who has mental health problems failed to include mental health upfront. RIDICULOUS!
I thought to myself, “This is crazy! Here we are in a ‘national health crises’ that is killing people left, right and centre – people are so concerned about health – and they can’t really give a clear picture of what health means.
So – I put together in a mindmap on how I conceptualise health. Be careful these are ‘big bones’, so if you don’t see your ‘aunties cheesecake’ on it – think harder! Did I say it was perfect? I did NOT! Is this advice for anyone? It is NOT! .. Oh.. oh.. OMG!! Stupid just got out! How?
STUPID: Hang on a sec.. you have a messed up sleep-wake cycle and you don’t exercise regularly, so who are you to lecture people on health!?
CW: You’re on a short leash. What I do with my health is nothing to do with the idea of what health is.
CW: I did not say that everybody has to be 100% healthy in all their activities!
STUPID: Making excuses for yourself – are you?
CW: No. I agree that that I could be healthier in many ways. Whatever I do wrong does not mean I am prohibited from talking about what I see health to be.
STUPID: So you don’t practice what you preach?
CW: WTF! I’m not preaching anything. What I practice has nothing to do with what health is?
STUPID: So you want other people to do stuff that is healthy but you’re not gonna do all that is healthy?
CW: If you weren’t so thick as 10 planks you may have noticed that I was referring to health. I said nothing about people’s health. I said nothing about doing what is healthy.
STUPID: Liar! You said ‘healthy relationships’. Don’t try to be clever.
CW: Yes I did. But I did not say anything about what is ‘healthy’.
STUPID: Really? Why?
CW: Simply because I’m not here to advise anybody on what to do to be ‘healthy’. I simply drew a mindmap of concepts that fall under health – and I said nothing about being healthy. I did not imply that all of the stuff in the mindmap will make people healthy.
STUPID: .. um…errh.. but.. I don’t.. get..hmmm.
CW: What? Cat gotcha tongue? Right – time up.. back in the box. End of!