Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865), the 16th President of the United States, observed, “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” In other words it’s how we live our lives that matter most. Are you concerned with your wellness? It may be many aspects of your life:
- Foods we eat, meditations, and our mental health
- Infectious diseases, and the vaccines that prevent them
- Genetic conditions – allergies, depressions, and addictions
- Exposure to radiation – medical X-rays, and nuclear fallout
- Pollutants – cigarette smoke, pesticides, and chemical waste
- Trauma – car crashes, and wounds from combat
- Relationships – spiritual, marital, family, and friends.
Although negative these aspects of life can be unexpected gifts. Sholom Aleichem (1859–1916), a leading Yiddish author and playwright remarked, “Life is a dream for the wise, a game for the fool, a comedy for the rich, a tragedy for the poor.” It’s what we bring to life that matters most. As the saying goes, “If life offers us lemons make lemonade.”
The longer we live we realize that awful things happen for no apparent reason. It’s just the way life is. We may plan for rainy days but when they come our plans may still be lacking. Some biblical teachings admonish us to be even happy in trying times. Dalai Lama (b. 1935), the 14th and current Dalai Lama and Tibetan Buddhist monk stated, “The true purpose of our lives is to be happy.” This must be our goal. We’ve to do our best to be who we truly are and it’s best to be happy.
In our society medical treatment takes up a large part of the gross domestic product. Gautama Buddha (563/480 B.C.–483/400 B.C.), an Indian sage advised us: “To keep the body in good health is a duty … otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” Long before Christ, Buddha realized that there was a mind-body connection.
What we can do?
For wellness there are some basic steps we can take. Michelle Obama (b. 1964), a former African American first lady of the United States, said, “We can make a commitment to promote vegetables and fruits and whole grains on every part of every menu. We can make portion sizes smaller and emphasize quality over quantity. And we can help create a culture – imagine this – where our kids ask for healthy options instead of resisting them.” Obama was concerned about people’s health and of us having an adequate diet. Her focused was on children since they are the future of our country.
There are also spiritual needs that are just as important. It’s for us not only to utter prayers, but offer up our works to be blessed by God. Let your actions speak clearly about such gifts and witness how the blessings flow. Larry Bird (b. 1956), a retired professional basketball player was certain: “A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals.” Bird might be talking about basketball, but this game is like life itself. All work, its pains, griefs, planning, and decision making have to be exerted for the best results. This is how life is well-lived.