Saturday, March 17, 2012

Is the glass half full, or half empty? Is your health half full or half empty?

Is the glass half full, or half empty? The question has been debated forever, even though the answer is obvious.  The engineers are wrong, as usual, when they say "The glass is twice as large as it needs to be."

The pessimists say it's half empty?  The optimists say it's half full? Is there any truth to be found?

Yes.  But it is necessary to step to the side, and take in a wider view of the situation.  It's really simple. Easy.

If you are filling it up, it's half full.

If you are drinking it down, it's half empty.

Full, and empty are not states independent of action. They are judgements, based on actions and intention.

Is your health half full?  Or half empty.

When you are filling it up - it's half full.  When you are drinking it down, it's half empty.

In fact we are often filling our health glass, and we are often emptying it. Sometimes both at the same time.  Is that so strange?   Exercise builds our muscles, exposes us to risk of excess stress, depletes our energy and temporarily dehydrates us.

Healthiness is about balance.

There are many glasses of health.  Genetics, nutrition, cells, tissues, organs, systems, bodies, minds, spirits and communities.  Each area has many individual health factors and health processes.  It is no simple task to maintain your health - to ensure your glasses are being filled up - and to enjoy your healthiness - to use the health that you have wisely.

Optimizing your healthiness is even more complex - and there is little research to fall back on. You are, for a large part, on your own. Doctors study illness - few make serious studies of healthiness.

If one factor is way too full, in excess, you have an unhealthiness of excess - more serious and you have an illness. An illness of excess.

If one is way too empty, deficient, you have an unhealthiness of deficiency, more serious and you have an illness of deficiency.

All illness arises from deficiencies (too empty) and excesses (too full). 

Health is not static.  If you leave a half glass of water alone for a while, it will evaporate.  You can only keep it half full by constantly filling it up -- but not too much.. And so it is with health.

If you fill it too full - it may spill over.  If you are too full of good things, you and your health can fall down as a result. Most, possibly all nutrients become toxic if you have too much.  Too much exercise can result in excess stress or injury. Too strong a spirit can overwhelm the health of your communities.

Is your health glass half full? or half empty?  No matter.  What matters is that you keep working to keep yourself healthy.  And enjoying your healthiness.

You have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of healthiness.  You have a right to pursue health, and to use your health.

to your health, tracy
ps. If no-one is filling the glass, and no-one is emptying the glass, then the glass, like a Buddhist Monk, is at one-half with itself.

Tracy is the author of two book about healthicine: