Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Better or Worse?

Better or worse?

That is always the question.

In everything one does, the measure of what one is doing, and how well they are doing, is whether they are better or worse for their efforts.  If they continue to get worse, then they should do something else, and not just continue what they are doing, hoping the results will be different.  However, if they get better, one should continue with what one is doing, until one gets worse.  That seems to be an infallible guide in life.

That is true at anytime in life, but particularly so when there seems to be irreversible worsening with no cessation in sight.  At that point, one should be desperate for any other solution -- but the course they have been traveling.  That should be obvious to anyone, doing anything -- but especially so to those who are overwhelmed by their difficulties.

Just as obvious, should be the advice -- to make things even more difficult and complicated -- because what is needed first, is the return to simplicity, and the simple.

Most people's poor health is caused by the fact that they do nothing to promote their own good health -- while doing many things, to subvert that good health -- such as overeating, and no longer exercising any of their faculties except their imaginations that they are doing everything possible, and even that they are the ONLY person in the world doing anything -- by worrying and complaining about it.  In their world, somebody else should do something to make them healthy again -- and not that they can ever do anything for themselves anymore.  That is at the root of most health problems -- that just get worse, if nothing is done, to alter that course.  

Decline, deterioration, injury and death, are inevitable and predictable, and not merely a cruel twist of fate -- that everyone is as equally vulnerable to, despite what they do.  That way of thinking, and perceiving the world and all that happens, is the cause of most of the problems people feel afflicted with, and not realizing they are bringing upon themselves -- often with "expert" and "professional" help.

Most people don't have to consult their physician or registered dietician, to eat less or change their diet for the better.  Neither do they have to consult their physician or "certified" personal trainer to take a walk -- or join a gym, and then exercise in whatever manner gives them the best results -- even without personal supervision and instruction.  Most of what they need to know, they can just learn by observing others, and deducing what is appropriate to do.  That is a time-honored tradition of learning anything -- that one has a chance to first observe and see if anything being done makes sense, and decide whether they also want to do it -- instead of being driven to it from the moment one enters, to the moment one cannot go on any longer -- as though there was some kind of ancient wisdom in that.

Actually, the best learning, is just to observe, without any compulsion or coercion to join in and go along, but if things make sense and people seem to be enjoying what they are doing, to join in on whatever level one feels up to, and desires to continue.  That usually indicates that one feels better, and is getting better, and to other observers, look better doing so.  So there is this immediate confirmation of reality and sensation coming together in a comprehensive and integrated whole -- observable and verifiable by everyone, and not just a few self-designated experts.

Even doctors and athletes die or get injured (most do), which may indicate their fallibility as experts on health matters.  Some doctors smoke, and many athletes will take drugs to improve their short-term (one-time) performance -- at the risk of their longterm health and well-being -- that invariably shows up and impacts their health in later life.  Often for that reason, many die prematurely, before they can fully manifest the devastating, detrimental results.  Most of the time, it is obvious -- in painful movement that eventually results in minimal movements -- and when that happens, the prognosis for recovery is not good, because it is the proper functioning and exercise of one's capacities, that maintain and increase their capabilities.

That is the value of exercise -- and conditioning oneself to get better -- that becomes a way one does everything, including getting older.  The problem is that many get older, but they do not get better, or wiser -- but seem to spend a prolonged period in life, getting worse -- which is not inevitable, obviously, for everyone.  A few do defy the familiar pattern of aging -- which is unfortunately associated with getting older -- because everyone gets older, but only a rare few, get better as they get older -- in most of the ways we are used to assessing such changes.

It's no longer enough that a person can perform amazing feats while seeming to be in aging or declining health and appearance.  The next wave of improvement, is that many people don't exhibit most of the signs associated with growing older, and continue to get better -- with age.  That possibility exists because one has never attained their fullest actualization yet -- and not that they peaked at 18, or 28, and have been in a free fall decline ever since, which is a long time to fall, if people now live to 90 routinely.

That being the case, we have to manage life much more wisely, so that longevity represents many more opportunities to get better -- not necessarily in the same way one did in their younger years.  But that means the discovery, of ways they were not aware of before -- before they grew so wise.  That used to be the meaning of age -- the wisdom obtained in that longevity, and not just minimal vital signs maintained for as long as possible -- with no other consideration for these quality of life issues, and their measurement.

But now that many, if not most, live to a ripe old age because there are no wars, famines, diseases, disasters and hardships to cut down vast swaths of the most vulnerable, individuals have to take it upon themselves to define a higher meaning and purpose for their own lives -- beyond being kept alive at the most minimal levels of that possibility, and when it is the proper time to move on also.


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