Health and Happiness

Happier we are, the healthier we feel.

The key words are happy, healthy, and feel. It is easy to get these words in one sentence. But is it easy to get them together in life?

Each one of us looks at and feels about life in different ways.

According to E. M. Forster, it is not that the Englishman can’t feel – it is that he is afraid to feel.

Charles Lamb, on the death of his mother said, “I have something more to do than feel.”

But most of us would agree with George Ridding that “I feel a feeling which I feel you all feel”.

Let us look at some examples of healthy and unhealthy feelings.

Some time ago, on a Friday, there was a column in this newspaper titled “Washerwoman’s legacy helps poor students” by Margaret Wente. This is a very inspiring story of a 91 year old lady, who never went past Grade 6, never married, and never owned any book but her Bible. She made her living by washing other people’s clothes.

Dime by dime and dollar by dollar she saved her washerwoman’s money. Then in 1995, she donates $150,000 (US) to fund scholarships for poor students. Wente describes how this 91-year-old is energized to discover what her donation has done for the students.

That must be a great feeling!

Then on a Tuesday, there is Paul Sullivan’s column: More people I meet – more I like my dog. His message is clear – People do suck especially the big ones.

He was discussing the case of Nadia Hama and her daughter with Down’s syndrome, Kaya, who miraculously survived the fall off the Suspension Bridge in Vancouver. Sullivan also explores the methods used by RCMP to investigate this case.

The whole scenario does not inspire healthy feelings.

Compare this to the letter to the editor in Friday’s paper: Heartfelt thanks to a real-life superhero. Leslie Beckman writes: The fact that this man (real-life superhero) could care for a complete stranger, in such an amazing way, is absolutely unbelievable and beyond appreciation.

This superhero is one of the three men who helped a young man survive a near disastrous accident.

So there are people who do things that make us and themselves feel good. Although nobody is perfect.

But life is not about perfection. Life is about what you do with what you have been given, says Globe and Mail in a recent editorial on the new Governor General.

Let us put it this way: Good health is not about perfection. Good health is about what we do with what we have been given and feel good about it!

If that makes us happy then we should feel healthy.

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