(Note to the reader: Some literary license has been taken with the facts but only for artistic purposes, to better convey the drama of the human struggle for existential authenticity and to serve the cause of justice, the dream of human fulfillment and the hope for world peace. This tale is more or less based on an actual event.)
Isn’t it wonderful that we don’t have a rule everyone must follow? Until last week, it never occurred to me to be grateful for the absence of a single rule everyone had to follow.
The term wellness has been hijacked. The Evil Doers guilty of this insidious affront to decency include the medical profession, corporate executives and alternative medicine types. These sectors have unwittingly collaborated in the conversion of wellness into disease prevention. In the watered-down wellness model on offer, wellness has been reduced to detection of risk and disease prevention - the absence of chronic illness is the ultimate goal, rather than the promotion of well-being.
This essay is dedicated to the memory of Jeanne Louise Calment (1875-1997). She not only lived a seemingly impossible long life, but also had a memorable sense of humor. Among her better known observations, after people started making a fuss about her longevity in 1985, was this: "I had to wait 110 years to become famous." (Source: Susan Krauss Whitbourne, “Fulfillment at Any Age,” Psychology Today, January 28, 2012).
What is wellness but an attempt by men and women to improve themselves, physically and mentally, in all areas of life? It is all of that and no more. What, then, might self-improvement goals for becoming a better person entail for wellness seekers?
Are you on track to die healthy? In addition to luck and genetics, your chances to go out after living well depend in good part on the quality of your lifestyle in relation to the support (or opposition) you enjoy (or suffer) from the cultures that surround you.
Culture, genetics and luck aside, ask yourself: How strong is your lifestyle?
You can get a sense for the strength or quality of your lifestyle with the Die Healthy Self-Assessment.
The Dimensions Assessed
I admit that reason is a small and feeble flame, a flickering torch by stumblers carried in the star-less night, -- blown and flared by passion's storm, -- and yet, it is the only light. Extinguish that, and nought remains.
Robert Green Ingersoll, from A Reply To The Rev. Henry M. Field