Health is a fundamental right!’ scream the politicians. On their campaign trails across the globe, we find leaders chanting this mantra in hopes of winning their citizens’ vote. They call for lower medical costs, be it for pharmaceutical drugs or insurance coverage, or any other kind of interventions.
If you understand the deeper dimensions of this, it is yet another call to disempower the public.
Health isn’t a fundamental right. It’s a fundamental responsibility!
Putting our health in the hands of others is not just an act of laziness, but also puts us in a very dangerous situation. We feel we can ignore the signs and symptoms that our body tries to give us, and indulge in an irresponsible and gluttonous form of lifestyle, one that makes us sick and disempowered.
Our diet and lifestyle are strong contributing factors to almost all of today’s illnesses. We have created a work-centric lifestyle that leaves us little time to look after ourselves or even enjoy the meals we make. We have mechanised the food supply chain and made it into an industry of genetically and chemically modified content. Animals are not allowed to live naturally, nor are fruits and vegetables. Cows were not meant to live in robot-controlled barns, nor were plants meant to be grown in controlled laboratories. They were meant to be nourished by the Sun, by the wind, by the water and other natural forces. They never needed regular injection of chemicals or interferences from mankind. Just as with King Midas, all we touch becomes lifeless.
When we eat such food, how are we meant to be healthy?
On the other side, we have also forgotten that we are human beings (the emphasis is on the word “being”). Instead we have become human- machines, just working day in and day out to merely earn money. We don’t even work at what we are good at or what we love. Rather we chase what we think will bring us more money. Rather than chase our passion we have started to pursue insanity. Not only have we become insensitive to our true potentials, but have also become apathetic to what’s going on around us. We don’t pause to smell the flowers, or hear the sounds of the birds around us, or feel the wind blowing across our face or other such simple but profoundly nourishing things. We look into our phones and disappear into the fantasy world of digital media, rather than actually look, smile at or talk to the person seated near us, be it on a flight or train.
What we don’t realise is, making simple changes like having a healthier diet, a healthier lifestyle, pursuing our passion, could make us much healthier and much happier. This would make us more empowered and therefore, able to take greater responsibility for our own health and life journey. These changes also must include not only how much we consume, but rather more fundamentally how we consume. Most of the countries in the world have such high national debt, which not only trickles down but also sets an example to its citizens that it’s okay to spend more than we earn. How smart is this? How safe is this? But as people, we buy into this credit-based system to buy things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, mostly to impress people we don’t like.
And when all of this affects us, either physically, psychologically or spiritually, we expect the system to fix us, while not taking any responsibility. This is neither feasible nor fair.
Health is a fundamental responsibility, and if we don’t do our part, no one else can help us.
So, rather than fight for it as an entitlement, work toward making health your fundamental obligation to yourself. Eat healthy. Get enough sleep. Keep company with responsible adults, even if you don’t always agree with them or find them comfortable. Enjoy the seasons, the birds’ chirping, the sound of flowing water, etc. Pursue your passion and boldly be in your element. Speak and live by the truth. Act responsibly. Accept that life won’t always be on an upward trend and that downward trends are okay too. Most importantly, don’t give your power away to someone else.
Our health is our responsibility!