Health and Personal Responsibility

Health and Personal Responsibility

Health and Wellness: Whose Responsibility Is It?

Whose responsibility is your health and well-being? At first glance, it seems like a simple question, and we all have a quick answer: ours. However, upon closer examination, we start to see a pattern of truths that contradict our initial answer. If we are responsible for our health, why do we repeatedly make decisions and take actions that are contrary to that assertion?

Let's put aside the fact that multiple economies are working to keep us unhealthy and sick. A consumerist economy is selling us goods like clothes, cars, and flat screen TVs to substitute for real happiness. The hospital economy is selling us "health care," but they are maximizing their profits by keeping us sick and diseased. The pharmaceutical industry, in bed with the hospitals, wants nothing more than to give us drugs that make us dull, sick, and disempowered from finding real health. Assuming that you already know about these issues and are actively working against them in your own life, I won't address them here.

Instead, I want to find out why we make decisions that make us sick when we could be making decisions that make us happy. If we know that our health and well-being is our personal responsibility, why are we not acting in accordance with that knowledge?

What Choices Do We Take? What Choices Do We Make?

We are consistently being offered choices in our lives: the choice to keep on suffering or the choice to start thriving. In the excellent film Food Matters, David Wolfe addresses this choice as it pertains to food. He asks, "In one hand, you have a hamburger. In the other hand, you hold the world's most nutritious food. Which do you choose?"

Unfortunately, we usually choose the hamburger, even though we know it won't make us feel our best. We know that this hamburger won't make our energy soar and won't bring about happiness and health. Yet we still choose it time and time again. If I saw someone making the same bad decision repeatedly, knowing that it will bring them unhappiness and knowing what the better decision is, I would think that this person wants to be unhappy. This person thinks they do not deserve to feel happy, but that they deserve to feel bad.

What causes us to make these bad decisions? Is it self-hatred? Do we not want to be alive? Do we believe that we only deserve bad things? The most rampant health problem facing us today is self-hatred. No amount of good food, exercise, nutritional supplements, or medicine will heal self-hatred. Furthermore, no amount of consumer goods will make us feel good when we hate ourselves. We first have to believe that we are worthy of love, then love ourselves, and then we will start making decisions that reflect that self-love. Until we believe that we are worthy of health, we will never be healthy. When we believe that we deserve to be happy, we will be happy. When we believe that we deserve to be the recipient of love, we will find an abundance of love.

I don't know why self-hatred is so rampant in our society, and I will leave that up to our own introspection and conversations. But I do know that it is here and that it is permeating our society, making us sick and unhappy, perpetuating that sickness and unhappiness, and keeping us from healing ourselves, the community, and the world.

Personal responsibility is taking responsibility for oneself and beginning to act in accordance with self-love. All actions of love will be futile and failures if they are not radiating out of a core of self-love.

Join me on the journey of personal responsibility and self-love.

Aug 23, 2010 Ryan Wade

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