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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Should Health be Important to Pagans?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011
I figured I would keep in the vein of controversial posts. Let me know what you all think.

Eight words the Wiccan Rede, fulfills an' it harm none do as ye will. Yes I know that is more Wiccan and not exactly Pagan, but most Pagans I know try to follow some version of the Rede in their own personal practice.
So what does the Rede have to do with the topic question? In one word, everything. We talk a lot about harming none and many Pagans go out of their way to do right and good by others. Yet many seem to neglect themselves.
We are a nation of overweight and sickly people. In 2004 the statistics say that 66% adults in the United States were overweight and obese. (Source jhsph.edu) And the evidence is overwhelming that being overweight or obese leads to a wide range of disease. From hypertension to arthritis and you can throw in heart disease and diabetes for good measure.
Now if we are to live a life dedicated to harming none, shouldn't we strive to be as healthy as possible? For what good does it do to work to make the world a better place, when we are plagued by bad health? Whether from a life of gluttony or other bad choices. We preach to harm none but we still continue to harm ourselves. And if we have children, then what kind of example are we showing to our children? Should we not teach them to be healthy and to practice good habits in all of their life?
Now before many people get upset, I know that there are in some cases, extenuating circumstances. Their are diseases and medicines that we take, that can lead to an increase in weight. But in most cases and in many times people are to lazy to exercise and lack the self will to not eat that extra one, or sometimes two or three, pieces of pie.
But I don't want to just talk about the obese, because there are many choices that we make in Western culture that are unhealthy. We sometimes drink to excess and we smoke, when we have a history of cancer.
In addition to being a nation of obese people we are also a nation of insomniacs. We, especially you Fathers out there, run our lives entirely to fast and do too much. We cut back on eating healthy and exercising and on sleeping, just to get that new job assignment done on time. Now lack of sleep may not lead to any known health problems. But being tired all the time cannot be good for our health.
So I encourage you to take an inventory of your life and the habits in it. Are you harming yourself? If so why? Make a choice to include yourselves in the word none, when you say Harm None. And try to improve your health.
Blessed Be!

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