The meaning of the term ‘health’ gets redefined according to your age and circumstances. When you were younger, health meant following the directions of your mother and drinking and eating according to her preferences, for some it must have meant listening to their father or any other guardian figure. You must have been frustrated and […]
The meaning of the term ‘health’ gets redefined according to your age and circumstances. When you were younger, health meant following the directions of your mother and drinking and eating according to her preferences, for some it must have meant listening to their father or any other guardian figure. You must have been frustrated and wondered what you can do to just break free. Come out of the chain of care as soon as possible. You thought you knew better and in most cases, the grown-ups just did not know enough to guide you to glory, you could do it better than them. Well now that you have broken free and are not confined within the directions of your mother, you are on your own. Ask yourself, were you really so good at knowing what was good for you?
Starting from the afternoon nap to the glasses of water you had to finish, it was all strictly under the caring vigilance of your guardian angel and it never left you alone. Now that it is not so anymore, would you say that it was so bad a deal really? When compared to the kind of lifestyle majority of us have created for ourselves, it might not be so. Imagine the number of hours you sleep make you feel dizzy throughout the day as it is insufficient and not in keeping with the activity you take up every day. Everywhere you go is labeled with all kinds of pollution, air, water, land and in the name of protection you only have one sunglass on. The stress that you go through daily makes you go cranky with your loved ones. Think about the old days now when every time you were rude to someone your parents reminded you that you have to check yourself. Now that you have assumed the role of parent, you yourself are rude with the kids and guess what, it adds to more stress with the accompanied guilt rides and frustration. You were strictly prohibited from using all those curse words you learned from people around you and you could never understand why. The only thing that you could fathom is that they are bad. As you criticize people for the little things that they get wrong, you shower them with harsh words which add to your already whetted emptiness. The comfort at last in alcohol. Don’t you feel the desperate need of just running to someone after you have criticized everyone that you can lay your eyes on to the point of extinction? Yes, we miss having that protective bubble around us.
As we demanded that one more piece of candy, or one toy we could not seem to imagine going on living without, we were immediately reminded of allowing ourselves to want more than we need. With time as we seemed to have made peace with things we did not get and how it mattered so less, we were learning the essential values of demanding on the basis of necessity and not desire. Now we work 15 to 18 hours sometimes trying to earn more and more money, hoarding up wealth that we can never just lie down and enjoy, for whom? And where are those values of not wanting but needing what you fight for? Every day as we stage up a meaningless war with our own selves we end up avoiding the very people we work for. The kids, the family as when they need you, you are stuck up in a meeting somewhere. The hollowness grows all around as the next generation grows up with only an image of their parents in their head and nothing substantial to relate to. The bliss is gone and so is your well being. And it all started somewhere very insignificant, with you wanting to grow up very fast.
But above is the definition of health for middle class grown-ups. What about the lesser privileged? How do they view health? Health for them has found a new meaning altogether. They are denied the basic privileges of leaving and I am not even talking about food, clothing and shelter. Yes there are many in India who do not have that, but it itself is so broad a topic and so painfully disastrous that it may alone be a subject of another article. Here I talk about the lesser privileged people’s right to clean air, land and water. The air that they breathe is poisonous, the water that they drink is contaminated and the land, polluted. As we fight stress, depression, anxiety and management to be happy and healthy, circumstances have cursed them to view the concept of health in a different light altogether. As kids they are not shield from any of the disasters like us as hazard become a part of their day to day living, yet the veil of protection that their parents keep them under by making them drink water or eat vegetables, is also killing them slowly. Still worse are those families who earn by setting up a stall beside the streets, breathing the poison thrown into the air from our expensive cars. If you ask them about health, yes they will tell you about stress, depression, mood swings, how they too avoid their kids for money but mind you, there happens to be hell and heaven difference between the health priorities between their and your heath priorities. As health continues to be redefined, India has built itself yet another dichotomy.