I started thinking about the literacy of health. What definition of health do people believe- how do they understand and/or communicate that belief and why have they chosen to believe what and whom they believe?
With that,I would like to take a look at a few definitions.
Definition 1- LITERACY: A- the quality or state of being literate especially the ability to read and write. B- posession of education C- a person's knowledge of a particular subject or field. (Dictionary.com)
Definition 2- BELIEF: something that is accepted, considered to be true, or an opinion (en.oxforddictionaries.com)
Definition 3- COMMUNICATION: the sending and receiving of informtion between at least two people/parties. ( ARC2
enterprises working definiton/belief)
Definition 4- HEALTH: an active state of being mentally, physically, socially and spiritually. ( ARC2 enterprises working
I believe these definitions/words are key for every individual or group to understand what health is to them as individuals.
Now lets combine all of these definitions to look at a new perspective, a possible new definition of HEALTH:
Our ability to read and write (receive and send information-communicate) to gain knowledge (education-literacy) on how our active state of being (always changing health) is and/or affects our lives(health)and how we have come to this belief. (in our own minds-opinion) .
Now read it with out the parenthese!
Our ability to read and write to gain knowledge on how our active state of being is and/or affects our lives and how we have come to this belief.
In other words- our life is our health and our health is our life! It is constantly changing and to maintain an effective and responsible life/health we need to constantly learn and change.
Here is the mind blower, all of the above definitions can be altered. In otherwords our "literacy" of a topic or subject matter can be affected-we have the ability to continually learn-to become more literate, if we choose. Our beliefs, no matter how strong, are changeable, if we choose. How we communicate can change to be more or less effective, if we choose. And our health is our health no matter what anyone says-we own our health, if we choose.
There in lies the truth of health-the true definition of health-your health- is what and how you choose to be. Are there health issues that we do not have "control" over, yes. That said, we do have control over what and how we learn, believe, communicate and how we can affect our lives. All these things are choices!
Now before everyone loses their minds, are there individuals that do not have the ability to choose (many reasons),yes. For the most part I am speaking of people that are not restricted by mental, physical( genetics, etc) or man made(under duress) restrictions.
Two more points to better health literacy.
1. To create and maintain an effective health there should be very little judgement to our choices (I say little judgement because we are humans-we are walking, talking, two legged judging machines!). Another way of saying this is, the sooner we own ourselves-the good, the happy, the bad and the sad- the sooner our life/health can improve.
2.Another way to look at our choices is " are they effective or not? Are our choices moving us in a direction that moves our lives forward, responsibly. This goes for all of the area of health:
Mental-how we look at things-is the glass half empty or half full or did someone mess with my glass?
Physical-are we moving, how are we moving, are we moving in a way that makes sense for us, as individuals, Do our bodies allow us to move freely or with restrictions?Do we get a lot of colds, etc?
Social-do we have friends? Are we loners? Are we introverts or extroverts? Do we believe social interaction is beneficial, what does that interaction look like? Are we being a beneficial contributing member of society?
Spiritually-are we being true to what drives/motivates us? Do we believe in a higher power? Are we being true to our values? Do our values need to change?
These questions are not to be in judgement-there is no right or wrong answer to these questions. They are questions to help define each type of health and they are questions to ask ourselve whether or not, as individuals, our life/health is where we want it? If it is great! If it is not, then what changes are needed to get there?
one last point, I am not advocating your health should look a certain way...there are a lot of you's out there and you are all different and how you achieve an effective and responsible health can be achieved many different ways!
YOU ARE THE DIFFERENCE!!!