Every person has merits and demerits with respect to his/her health, making the health differentiation in people. Individual’s economic condition and his/her health consciousness may be said to be the factors behind these differentiations. Though economic condition has a telling impact on health, it may be minimized if the person is conscious about maintaining good health which may even be achieved using simple yet critical ways to health. What matters in this respect is the person’s studies and right knowledge about healthy foods and other conditions. Most of the persons suffer in health matters not only because of their poverty but because of their affluence too. People in general know very little about being healthy.
Two other factors responsible for health differentiation are individual’s inheritance and his character with respect to discipline and his/her involvement in vices. There are some diseases which are transmitted through inheritance from one generation to another. It is noteworthy here that an inherited disease may not be eliminated completely in a generation from further transmission to the next generation, but it can surely be stopped from continuing through generations with conscious efforts of three consecutive generations. Same way, a disease continuing for three consecutive generations earns the potency of becoming an inheritance-transmitted disease.
Discipline and keeping away from vices play important roles in an individual’s health. Intoxication and sexism are two most damaging vices for health, and incidentally, both of these victimize affluent persons, very often. Thus, affluence may be a cause of bad health without a sense of discipline in life.
What does a good health mean?
Medical professionals would like to answer this question as ‘being disease-free’. But it is neither the complete answer nor the objective definition of health. To me, good health means that a person has four attributes –
Out of these, the first two attributes work beneficially for current existence of the person while the latter two are his/her safeguards for future health. It may be argued that if the health at all the current times is ensured, there is no need for any consideration for the future. It is true, but all the whole lifetime of a person doesn’t remain the same for two universally present circumstantial factors of unforeseen adversities and ageing of the person. These two factors may damage health in the future of a person in-spite of his/her current sound health. The latter two attributes of health are to take care of these probable and essential yet adverse occurrences in the future.
Physical health of a person is not a mere consideration of his/her physical appearance. There are millions of persons appearing to be hale and healthy from an outer appearance but suffering from many internal diseases and incapable of leading active lifestyles. In the modern age of fast moving vehicles, many so-called healthy persons are unable to walk a little distance for their being out of practice without a motor-vehicle. Such persons develop many other diseases in their respective bodies due to their inactive lifestyles. Converse to this, there are persons who train their bodies to be so stout and well-built, like the wrestlers, boxers, etc, with no time or resources for any mental or intellectual activities that they become like wild beasts. This too can’t be said to be a good physical health for the imbalance in their bodies.
An active body means good health of mind of the person for the mind residing as neural network spread all over the body and taking care of internal and external activities of the body. So, when we say ‘active body’, we mean active mind also of the person. Therefore, physical health includes mental health but not the intellectual health of the person. The mental health is related to activities of the body organs under control of the mind of the person, while the intellectual health is related to sound functionality of the person’s brain including soundness of his/her memory, analytic thinking capability, imaginative creativity, and precise body organ controls.
Final parameter of a person’s intellectual health is his/her tangible creative outputs, or creation of things or thoughts not existing so far. All new developments for convenience and comforts of humanity are created through this talent of people. Keep on involving in purely intellectual activities with no care for the body is too detrimental to overall health of the person and to even his/her intellectual health.
The most important application of intellectual health is to take care for balanced development of the self and the society, thus improving the humanity. This includes taking care of physical health of the self through selection of foods and physical activities in an optimum way. Development of medicines for curing diseases that may occur incidentally in individual bodies is also the part of this intellectualism. In the same spirit, contribution to developments in the fields of Science and Technology, Humanities and Philosophy, etc is also indicator of the person’s intellectual health.
Another important aspect of intellectual health is development of individuality as the most important part and parcel of society. Only those with strong individuality form a strong society. Dependence on majority view and crowd psychology are intellectual weaknesses of the individual. Such people even in a majority form a weak society that may easily drift from standard humanistic norms.
Although every person has creative talent but most of the persons are not using or finding opportunity to use their creative talents. As a result of this non-use of talent, it vanishes in three generations through genetic modifications. Those using their creative talents improve upon it through generations.
For this reason, humanity is on the verge of dividing itself in two distinct segments of productive and creative peoples. The productive people would be good at hard labor and mass producing things through their physical health, while creative people would be developing new things through their intellectual health. It may be that in future, these two classes of people be recognized as humans and super-humans, respectively. So far, medical profession has paid no attention to intellectual health of humanity for its preoccupation with physical health only.
Resilience of a functional system is its ability to continue functioning well even under adverse situations. This concept applies equally well to organic and inorganic systems, organizations and also to health of individual living-beings. In case of individual health, resilience is not related to stoutness of the body but to its adaptive capability to circumstantial changes to keep ever healthy. Adaptability of the body has two components.
First component of adaptability is sensitivity of the body to changing circumstances. This is a sort of delicacy of the body that gets influenced even to minor changes in the environment. Second component of the adaptability is flexibility of organic components of the body. Sensitivity and flexibility, working together under control of the natural forces of life, produce resilience in the body that goes on sensing the external factors of health and adjusting to them to keep the body in good health.
Globalization has put a new challenge to health of a huge number of individuals required to move globally to meet their career and business aspirations. Their health needs more resilience than those staying in unitary climatic zones. Ecological damages too tend to bring about unforeseen climatic changes needing people to be tolerant to these, hence being resilient health-wise.
Medical profession has not paid any attention to this health issue also, so far creating more patients to them due to failure of people’s health in being adaptive to changes in circumstances which are now more common than before.
Resistance to deterioration of a person’s body and brain under effects of ageing is termed as his/her agility. Thus, an agile person remains equally hale and healthy throughout his/her lifetime irrespective of his/her age. This attribute of health has a higher demand now for the medical profession’s success in improving longevity of people, thus creating a huge number of old sick persons in the world to be fed and taken care for by the healthy people. Unless, people wake up fast to attain agility with or without assistance from the medical profession, the whole of healthy humanity will be plagued with carrying aged and sick people on their shoulders with little resources left for productive and creative activities.
Agility is more of an individual’s concern than that of the society or the medical profession. With taking selective and locally and organically grown seasonal foods, more of vegetables and fruits, and less of sugars, flour-products, and fats, an individual can attain a good amount of agility, though its attainment in full is still a long-distant dream.
Thus, a person is truly healthy only if he/she has all the four parameters discussed above with good functionality. A good health must be reflected in output of the person positively influencing his/her society, health of a person is not his/her individual asset but that of the whole society at local level and that of the whole humanity at the global level. This makes individual health as a concern of the whole humanity, with a particular responsibility of the intellectual lot of the humanity.