On being good
We live in a culture where being good is equated with being obedient. When we are children, we are rewarded with praise, treats, and good grades from parents or teachers when we do what we’re told and repeat their statements as exactly as possible. This carries over a great deal into adulthood. Whether it’s making food, stocking shelves, or filing reports, the vast majority of our jobs depend on our ability follow directions without asking questions.
We’re trained to turn off our brains, ignore any creative tendencies and critical thought, and just do as we’re told.
This is equally so when we look at our health. We turn to “experts” to handle the matters of our bodies, following the guidelines of the doctors and organizations who put themselves in a position of authority. If you want good health, you’re taught to go to the doctor. Take your medicine like you’re told. Of course your food and lifestyle choices have nothing to do with how you feel, and thinking your emotions play a role is just preposterous.
Thinking the earth was round used to be preposterous too. Good thing we got over that.
We figured out the Earth really was round when we developed the tools and knowledge to first measure it, then to observe it. We have many tools today where we can measure the benchmarks of good health (and some very specific ways that it can go bad), and we have easily observable signs when it starts to go south…or when it begins to improve.
Doctors are one of those tools. They have access to diagnostics and imaging that can detect all sorts of physical and chemical imbalances in the body. Yes, they are experts in providing prescriptions, but the important part is to remember that the role they play in your life is entirely up to you. If you want to put your life in their hands, if you want to trust them with your care, you are entirely welcome to. On the other hand, if you feel as I do, that they are resources to be used, and their diagnostics are a fantastic way to get a glimpse of the function of your own body. Their drugs are entirely optional.
I like to be respectful of everyone in just about every profession (salesmen and telemarketers excluded) because a lot of time and study goes into what they do. I choose to believe that people do what they do out of a genuine desire to do good for others and to make the world a better place. In the case of doctors, it’s undeniable that much of their advice is misguided, that the textbooks are incomplete, and the complications from drugs, surgeries, and other treatments causes a great deal of harm and death.
It’s wonderful and amazing to me that there is such a vast amount of information available to us, and it’s increasing every day. We can read studies, look at molecular pathways, and see the effects that many variables have on our health. We have an infinite amount of choice when it comes to how we care for these vehicles for our souls. You only have the one, so it falls to you as your responsibility to care for it as you see fit.
If adjusting your life to improve your condition is something you are open to, you’ll enjoy the benefits of a healthier, longer, more vibrant and robust life. It’s difficult for me to understand people who aren’t open to making the kinds of changes that result in better health, but everyone has different priorities, so while I don’t understand their choices, I can respect them.
The moral of this story is to place your trust wisely, and to use the vast tools that are available to you. Don’t trust just one source; do your own research to find solutions that work best for you. We are all human, so we have similar genetic templates, but we are not exactly the same. Measure, track, and observe results based on the variables that are important to you. Don’t be good. You can do better than that.