One of the boys had a homework assignment this week on “Every Child in the World Needs..…” and this topic brought up an ‘in depth conversation’ about what exactly are our basic human needs?
Of course food, water and shelter were fundamental. We chatted about how the form, quantity, quality and delivery of these varies greatly.
Then sadly my nine year old realised that “love” itself was not a crucial need, as the torment many children across the globe survive is testament to this. Our conversation then moved on to distinguish the luxuries most western civilisations take for granted, such as education, from basic “fundamental” needs.
After a period of quiet with pure wide-eyed authenticity Wilem asked, “but what about being healthy Mum, can you survive without being healthy? Is “health” a need?”
Now our immediate answer to this might be “of course you need to be healthy to survive” and yet when we stop and think about the question there are many people who live lengthy periods of time without being healthy. Adults and children alike, can endure serious illness for many, many years. Then there are also people who appear healthy and suddenly drop dead, with family being told they’d had a heart attack for instance. Cancer is similar to heart failure in that these conditions take many, many years before they show any outward obvious symptoms, with this process happening slowly over time and decreasing the quality of life progressively. In fact many people do not realise they are “not” healthy.
We have mass numbers of obese adults and children, they too, survive without being healthy.
The tricky thing is unless our health has been significantly compromised at some point, most of us take our health for granted. Confusion lies with the fact that culturally for the most part we are conditioned to wait until we have pain, discomfort or embarrassment before we think about our health. We tend to think of health as a fixed condition. Yet good health is not delivered to us on a platter, we have to work consistently at achieving real vitality and fitness and acknowledge that health is an investment.
All investments take time to return dividends and rewards.
To stay the course of nurturing our health investment we would do well to remember 3 simple things;
– 1. Health comes from within – not from the outside in the form of a pill or a potion and when we listen to the feedback our body gives us we learn how to help it function at its best.
– 2. Improving our health literacy or awareness is our responsibilty. There are many wonderful health principles we can learn and embrace. In doing so we separate the chaff from the grain and realise that much of the circulated “health information” society finds itself immersed in, is tainted by food industry giants such as dairy, wheat and beef boards, pharmaceutical companies and government bodies each wanting to sell and promote their product. Unfortunately, contrary to popular belief, they do so (for the most part) not with our best interests as their top priority. We need to gather a broad base of information, formulate “pro’s and con’s” lists, learn to ask good questions and think for ourselves.
This in turn enables us to make “health choices” that are congruent for our family. Quite simply – the quality of the questions we ask – determines the quality of our health!
– 3.We need to be proactive about our health and examine if our daily rituals move us toward greater health or do they move us further away from this.
So while good health may not be an “essential need”, a common thread that binds all families is -that life is a lot simpler and it is much more fun when we are all healthy and well. More and more parents realise that the driving force for a happy life – is QUALITY OF LIFE, SECURED THROUGH GOOD HEALTH.
Just as quality food, water, exercise and sleep are imperative to health, it amazes me how chiropractic too- is a health enabler. Parents often ask chiropractors why their children are so healthy and the answer is simple; Chiropractic adjustments restore nerve system function which allows the body to express its full health and wellbeing.
Our health is a worthy investment.