HEALTH OF BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT—past, present and future
If anyone knows of another thread which has the same theme as this one, please, as I do not wish to have a duplication, let me know. Why my interest in health issues—something which I feel should be of interest to all of us on the good ship Earth?
Probably it is because by the time I was five—BTW, I was then number seven of five boys and three girls—everyone in the area in which I lived, who were mature enough, had already experienced too many visits from the Grim Reaper.
The over-all cause?
Looking back, I now realize that much of the pain, suffering and death suffered by the people of Bell Island—nine miles north of St.John’s—and by Newfoundlanders, was caused by the Dickensian-kind of poverty—even among the working poor. It was an unhealthy and an unsafe set of living conditions, including the bad nutritional habits of the poor—ninety-eight percent of the population. That was in an area with all kinds of resources. Only the top few members of the well-off upper class had ready access to the few hospitals and to the small number of fee-for service medical doctors available to serve them. What we, today, call Medicare—which, BTW, needs reform—was a far off vision.
Yes, even after the Titanic disaster off Newfoundland, 1912, there were weather-related deaths at sea—much loss of life during the long Battle of the Atlantic. In 1942 (I was 12) four iron-ore carriers were sunk not far from our home. Sixty-nine seamen lost their lives. I saw the bodies lined up on the beech near by. For details of the story, check out http://www.bellisland.net.
Also, in our area, there we unsafe conditions in the iron-ore mines—the main employer of our one-company town of about 10,000 people, including 2,100 miners. In addition, before modern drugs there there were serious infections, especially tuberculosis.
My family? Unhealthy conditions led to the deaths of my oldest brother, my sister, the husband of my sister, her only two children and our mother (father died in 1944—miner’s lung). Because of this, for as long as I can remember, I have been curious about what makes for good health of body, mind and spirit, and what we need to know and do in order to make it that way for all of us.
From the time I learned to read, I enjoyed the art. Then along came the radio—for me that was 1936—and especially the movies—two small movie houses opened in the 1920’s in our iron-ore mining town. Children could get in at The Nickle for 5 cents. What was your experience?
Such stories—some helpful and some not so helpful—came, and come, in all forms of the media. Some are fiction and some are about real and gifted people truly interested in making the world a democratically-secular and better one for all of us. Of course, I assume most people love stories—real or fiction—about strong and healthy heroes and heroines.
But, what about the also-rans? And the villains? Many of them populate our literature, including even the books of the Bible. Some came as heroes, to the rescue us, but many came came to enslave us. Regardless of our past, NOW, is the future of which we dreamed ... Which prompts me to ask: What kind of future do we now have in mind?