Personal Responsibility

As many of you who follow me either on Twitter or Facebook know, I am a great fan of quotable quotes.  I came across one the other day by Carl Linnaeus.  For those of you who don’t know, this is the man that gave us our current system of classifying plants, including the Latin binomial names.  Anyhoo, he said

To live by medicine is to live horribly

Given that he was a physician as well as a botanist I can only assume that he meant synthetic medicine and if that’s the case, I agree with him wholeheartedly. (I can’t ask – he passed in 1778.)

I normally refrain from getting into political discussions because I’m not going to change your mind any more than you’ll change mine. However, there’s been a lot of talk in the US in recent months about new food laws – no trans fats in restaurant food, a new or higher tax in several states on candy and sodapop (in Illinois, even toothpaste!) and the like.

What happened to people taking personal responsibility for their own health? Yes, too much sugar or trans fats are bad for you. But so’s too much of virtually everything else!  I’m not a huge fan of greasy food but there are the occasional days when a gutbomb (otherwise known as a greasy fast-food burger) is what my tastebuds are craving.  Don’t forget the french fries, either. Changing what the fries are cooked in changes their taste. Give me trans fats in moderation so my food tastes right.

Sugar?  Huge fan, here.  I don’t need the government telling me it’s bad for me, I know. That’s why I limit my intake (writing as I pop the top of the one can of soda I’ll drink today).  BTW, did you know that a 12 ounce glass of apple juice has as much sugar as a 12 ounce Coke?  (Statistics here.) Juice does have more benefit than a soda but if you’re looking strictly at sugar content, look closely.

Getting back to Sir Carl’s quote, most of today’s medicine is prescribing a pill for what ails you, instead of prescribing more raw veggies in your diet and a thirty minute walk three or four times a week. 

As an example, I have friends and family members who are on multiple drugs for various issues and end up having even more problems. Instead of changing diet (and suggesting exercise), the doctors simply prescribe another drug.  Although I’ve had countless conversations about diet and exercise (or lack thereof) with these people, they seem to prefer to leave their health in the hands of the pharmaceuticals they’re taking. They’re not the happiest campers in the woods but grin & bear it since this is “their lot in life”.

I have a wish that will probably go unfulfilled.  It is that people start taking active responsibility for their health instead of leaving it to the medical community.  Eat right, exercise, do things that make you happy, and laugh at a minimum of one thing each day. If that were to happen, instead of having a shortage of doctors here in the US, there would be enough to go around and each doctor would have enough time to spend with their patients to ensure the care is good and proper. Yes, bad things happen to good people and their services will always be needed.

If people took responsibility for their own health, the government wouldn’t have any reason to put its fingers on that part of our lives.

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