AM Inspiration: The Body Knows Its Heritage

Health care has once again taken center stage on the political landscape, and it's proving to be one of those subjects like food or carbon...Health and the measures we take to keep or recover it have to do with just about everything, which may explain why the national discussion on health care sometimes seems like a Moebius strip..or perhaps a Gordian knot. Another dimension adding to the slipperiness of the problem is the highly personal nature of health being mixed in with national policy--the difficulty with seeking a true "body politic."

Benjamin Franklin said, "The U.S. Constitution doesn't guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself," which can just as easily be applied to health: while most of us can agree that something needs to be done about the swelling ranks of the uninsured, we might also agree that health insurance isn't the only ingredient to go into good health choices.  Many of us also need an inner policeman to keep us from eating what we shouldn't and urges us to exercise. Some say that if we were only to be more in tune with what our body wants, we wouldn't need this cop-conscience at all. Lebanese writer Kahlil Gibran often wrote about the body as an expression of the divine.

Even your body knows its heritage and its rightful need and will not be deceived.

And your body is the harp of your soul,

And it is yours to bring forth sweet music from it or confused sounds.

It requires some type of resolution or consciousness, then, to seek to produce "music" rather than the "confused sounds" from our bodily lot. A body-conscience tends to run a course much like that of a developing environmental conscience: anyone that has been newly diagnosed with any health condition suffers from an overload of information--just like the one that happens when someone first decides to look into this whole climate change thing. A sort of despair sets in as one starts to fear that there are no "safe" foods or no "safe" products that are truly carbon neutral. The efforts to attain virtue on either level are hampered by backsliding and bad habits, but sticking with the effort can bring you out on the other side into a realm similar to that attained by people in recovery, changing the things we can while developing some discernment about exactly what those changeable things are.

For these reasons, and because health overlaps with concerns like organic food, air pollution, and water quality, look for a recurring feature on health. After all, if our national policy were to be governed using either the human body or the Earth as a sort of moral compass, we'd probably be better off on both counts.

Today's poem comes in video form. Watch the clip below showing people making poems with their bodies.  It goes a bit too fast to read the letters, but it's still a nice sentiment, the idea of people making art on the street with only themselves, and the cooperation of their co-conspirators.

Tags: Body, Choice, Conscience, Health care, Policy, Wellness

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