There is an old Spanish proverb that goes something like this: ʺAnyone who is too busy to take care of their health is like a mechanic who is too busy to take care of his tools.ʺ
Translation, a mechanic’s tools are required for the maintenance and future use of the car. If you neglect your tools, you are neglecting your future. If you don’t have the right tools to change the oil, your car will break down, so get ready to spend some serious cash for a new engine.
Our bodies are like cars. We have to fuel our bodies properly. We need regular check-ups to see what is going on under the hood. And, we have to conduct regular maintenance (exercise, check the various pressures, etc.) on our bodies as well as spirit.
Over our lifetime, we view our health differently. For example, before we reach our late teens our parents are mainly responsible for our health. Our responsibility during these years is to tell our parents and doctors where and what type of pain we may feel.
When we are in our teens and 20s, we think we are invincible and take our health for granted. We experiment with our body and its limits. In our 30s, we realize our recovery rate is longer and wish we were in our 20s again. In our 40s, we become content with our bodies.
In our 50’s and later years, well, I will let you know when I get there. But I hear, we may visit the doctor more frequently and we thank our bodies daily for carrying us through the day.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the definition of health is ʺa state of complete physical, social and mental well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.ʺ
I think of Frida Kahlo, the Mexican painter, and Professor Stephen Hawking, writer and cosmologist, who were betrayed by their bodies. But this betrayal turned them into incredible forward thinking individuals. The betrayal of their bodies built their character.
On a daily basis, survivors of life-threatening illnesses like cancer show us that they are not their disease but their disease is just a speed bump of life.
Thankfully, technology and advances in medicine have stamped out some diseases.