I wrote a piece back in August titled Appreciation. In that piece I had several definitions for appreciation. I would like to expound on one of those definitions.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving a day to spend with friends and family to show appreciation- thankful recognition- for what we have, for what we have lost, for what we can create in our lives.
I would like to show my appreciation to those that have touched my life in so many ways-personally and professionally. Without the support of my family, my friends, my colleagues and all the clients, students, and participants of all the lessons and classes I have taught, I truly have gained and learned more from you than I could ever teach. Thank you for allowing me to a part of your lives. Without you, I would not be where I am today. I would not know love, joy, respect, happiness and abundance without the lessons/gifts you have given me. THANK YOU! I would like to wish you all, the best Thanksgiving tomorrow and happiness and joy everyday!
As you celebrate tomorrow, take time to show, tell or think about the people and events that have shaped your lives-take time to appreciate all the blessings big and small that have graced your lives and for those that grace your lives daily.
Happy Thanksgiving to all and may the blessings of life find you happy, healthy, wealthy and wise!
In my career I get a chance to listen to, talk to and learn from others on what they think and believe about health. I am also constantly finding ways to more effectively present or educate people on what health is.
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!!!
As events, I have personally dealt with this week along with hearing about the atrocities that have plagued our country and others-Charlottesville and Barcelona the most recent examples, a quality, a virtue popped into my head.
That quality is APPRECIATION. I decided to look up the definition- there are 3 that really resonate with me.
gratitude; thankful recognition
clear perception or recognition
a full understanding of a situation
The last definition truly stands out. Listen to it again-a FULL understanding of a situation
People tend to fear what they don’t understand. Fear that goes unchecked can lead to anger, resentment, and even hatred.
With all the fear, hate, and anger that is spilling out all over the world, it would go to reason that creating an appreciation, an understanding-taking time to listen and learn will go a long way to reducing and/or eliminating fear, anger and hatred.
So, as we are out in our communities with our family and friends, I pray and ask the lord for help for all of us, to be willing to take time, to listen, to learn and to understand what we don’t. To create an appreciation for every person, place and thing on this planet.
Make the effort to create quality time to learn and understand not destructive, ineffective time to fear, hate, and destroy.
Tom has a BS in Exercise Science and has had the fortune to work and observe people in the sports, fitness and physical rehabilitation realms for over 30 years. With experience as a coach, trainer, instructor, and actor his insights are honest, personal, educated, sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant but always enlightening. Take a gander and enjoy.