Empowerment: Everyone has to die, but need not hasten it by ignoring health

  • Kiran Bedi, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Feb 09, 2016 20:33 IST
Kiran Bedi (HT File Photo)

It’s something we experience daily. Yet we do not give it the kind of respect it deserves. It is a healthy body. The real wonder of the world is the gift of good health to a living being.

In the past few months, we in the family, close friends and relatives had been in a spin, attending to a loved one who was not keeping good health. He was hospitalised, discharged, hospitalised again and finally set himself free of all suffering. But what is left behind is the deep loss to the family, friends and the causes he was serving. He paid inadequate attention to his health despite being regularly advised by family, friends and doctors.

Everyone has to die one day. But one need not hasten it. This kind of loss is caused by personal negligence, when a person takes the gift of good health for granted. In this attitude, he chooses to ignore early indications and delays attending to his health. Such a person does not “stitch in time to save nine”. We usually tell ourselves, ‘Nothing will happen’, ‘everything will be all right’, ‘it’s all destined’ and ‘time will heal’. Many do not seek timely help, medical or social, when it’s available. Such an attitude ignores proper diet, personal management, lifestyle or the environment causing the decline or other contributing factors.

Dealing with crisis in health

Dealing with crisis in health of a loved one places highly stressful demands on family, friends and finances, causing heavy dislocation on all three counts. The departure of a loved one causes deep deprivation, leaving behind a void.

We witness this frequently, but many do not realise that the inevitable will happen to the observer one day. Apparently, the realisation of consequences of this attitude is absent in our grooming systems, be it home or education.

We over-eat, consume unhealthy food, do not nourish our mind and body correctly, overuse it, overload it with extraneous responsibilities, and also make stressful acquisitions way beyond required needs, little realising that one day all this will be left behind, and counted by those who may not even be there to perform the last rites.

If we truly love our family, our first responsibility is to maintain ourselves for our own sake and for those whom we do not want to see suffer. Despite that, if one takes ill, there is a willing support and acceptance, as the situation was not invited by that person. That is why daily correct nourishment of mind, body and soul is vital and has to be an integral part of growth, upbringing, schooling and community life. It’s also about collective social health.

Asset to society

Being healthy adds to national wealth. Every healthy person is an asset to society as he contributes his energy and productivity to the well-being of the community in one form or the other. Since maintaining good health is a personal responsibility, it’s left to the conscientiousness and maturity of individuals as adults, parents and citizens.

The interesting part is: we all tend to expect this from others, forgetting about ourselves. By this failure, a great amount of suffering is caused. We need to learn and practise to prevent and minimise it. We know the inevitable will come anyway. But why fast-forward it? As Ghalib said, “Age travels at a galloping pace, who knows where it would stop; we do not have the reins in our hands, we do not have our feet in the stirrups.”

Therefore, do not call for accidents on your own. Respect, serve and guard the human temple as its priest with joy and gratitude.

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