Last night as I was sitting in the dark amongst hundreds of other strangers I began thinking about health. I thought about the conversation that occurs on-line through Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, and the various newsletters and blog posts.
Many of the conversations raise the point that “healthcare” (as we define it in the U.S.) is broken. That healthcare today places the majority of the focus on caring for the sick and barely any emphasis on keeping people healthy.
The above statement is true.
However, there is a fundamental problem with the health versus care discussion.
Health almost always begins as passive.
Care is active.
Health is a state that many of us take for granted.
Almost all of us are born with health. We do not have to earn it. We believe it is our birthright.
We wake up each morning, roll out of bed, go to the bathroom, brush our teeth, take a shower, eat breakfast, and hop in the car to drive to work.
We do not have to consciously think about the pain, the hurt, the aches or the difficulty in doing these common everyday tasks as some people do.
We just do them.
A fact that we take for granted.
It isn’t until we have a “firework” moment that we begin to cherish our health.
That moment when something changes.
When an explosion happens in our body and prevents us from performing our daily routine. Or when something happens to a loved one and makes us realize our own susceptibility to losing health.
It is immediately after that moment in which we begin to covet our health.
We have to be active in seeking our care. Once our care is completed and we return to our “normal daily activities” many of us feel that we need to continue to be active participants to ward off losing our health.
That is typically the transition point in which we move from being passive to wanting to become active in our health.
We begin to think of the water we drink, the food we eat, the number of steps we take, the amount of sleep we get, the air we breathe and the other measures we can take to remain healthy.
There is the fundamental problem.
As our mothers and fathers, our grandmothers and grandfathers, and our ancestors that came before us, the majority of us wake up every morning and take our health for granted.
Just as our heart beats, our lungs oxygenate our blood, and our brain produces synapses we too just expect health to be there when we awake.
We need to be thankful every morning as we rise out of bed that we are able to do it with ease. As we begin our day, we need to consider the choices we make and how they will continue to impact our health.
Health may begin for many of us as passive, but if we are not active each day in making choices to keep our health, we are all bound to have a “firework” moment and lose it.
We cannot sit and wait for others to “ignite” our health.
We must “spark” health ourselves.
Make better choices.
Drink more water.
Get more sleep.
Health happens at the N of 1.