Diogenes: Global Health
24 October 2016
Life is about health, money and sex – usually in that order. For some people, their importance may appear to be reversed, and one may influence another. But it is very clear that it all starts and ends with health.
Without health everything else is irrelevant. However, if we do have even just reasonably good health, the general focus of people shifts immediately, mostly towards material wealth and status, and other things, overtly or covertly. This, in turn, may and often does affect their health.
Every day, we face a number of choices about how to maintain our health and happiness. Good health is something that you can largely influence if you live in a developed country or are reasonably well off anywhere in the world, as it depends mostly on your lifestyle, your emotional state, and to a good extent to what you eat, which is probably the most important environmental exposure we face. Our food is not the most important facet of our life, but it is the basis on which the most important can prosper or crumble.
For answers to a more healthy way of eating and living, people generally look for official statements and guidance from government agencies, nutrition labels on packaged food, major research institutions, food companies, and health professionals. But can we actually trust health advice?
Our ability to think is part of our immune system, too, and should be used liberally to avoid the kind of confusion caused, in particular, by contradictory advice from nutritionists, government agencies, research institutions, natural healers and so on. We must be brave enough to take seriously the ability we have to think and observe, and apply these observations and thoughts to our everyday lives. Also, we must be humble enough to understand with our intellect, that our analysis of things is never sufficient, but is always deficient, and that we must follow our heart, feelings and intuition, to comprehend, or rather feel, what is best for us. And we must be grateful for what we have in order to attain a state of happiness.
All we need to be well and in good health throughout our lives is readily available; the answers are known, practical and possible to implement. Very unfortunately and all too often, however, health and in particular nutritional advice are tied into products, drugs and supplements. They are thus slanted and have a commercial aspect which puts significant question marks on the promoters of such information, and consequently on the information itself. This is true globally, both from traditional health, drug and food companies, all the way to people who promote natural health cures, diets and supplements.
The quality of human life depends on the understanding of nature. If we act against the laws of nature, we will lose, suffer, get hurt, die; if we act in harmony with nature, we will win, prosper, and live well. This is true for all facets of life. Illness is not natural; nature produces healthy life. Health is a state of higher order, illness is a disturbance of that order. To heal is to restore that order.
If you look at how animals live in wild, undisturbed environments, they live a healthy life until a high age, and then die suddenly — unless they are hunted and eaten by other animals. If you observe, however, how domesticated animals develop similar diseases to humans, and even more so if you see how they particularly suffer when they are fed processed foods regardless of how much care and love we give them — it is easy to see that much has to do with nutrition. Animals in free and undisturbed natural environments have no choice but to abide by the laws of nature, and accordingly tend to stay healthy during their entire lifespan.
Humans however have developed a way of life which is far removed from the original state where fundamental laws of nature were observed naturally. These laws still apply of course, however we are now living with the consequences of breaching some of these laws: a massive and global epidemic of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. The consequences of this breach is particularly severe in the areas of environmental pollution, lack of daily movement of the body, and our nutrition. Yet on all three of them we can exert our influence and reverse some of those negative trends, and we should.