Modern Day Living

This morning I was out walking as the sun was coming up. It looked like it was going to be a great day. Sometimes Mother Nature can play cruel tricks on we humans. I’m afraid this morning was one of those times, because I am pretty sure this afternoon is going to turn out to be hot, crotch pot cooking hot.

When I walk alone, I think. I don’t know if it’s that way with everyone, but it’s always been like that with me. This morning was no different than any other time in my life. I was thinking about life in times gone passed. My grandparents were foremost in my mind. Not just my grandparents, but I’d say the people who lived during the times my grandparents were alive. I’m talking about that fifty year period at the beginning of the 20th Century. I could probably include people from earlier centuries, but they were not occupying my thinking processes. My grandparents, and those who lived when they did, were.

I was thinking about how challenging life was during those years. I’m not saying life can’t be challenging now, but back then people depended more on themselves, and nature, to get through life. They provided for themselves. As I thought about the way life was back then I thought about medical care, and how people took care of themselves, versus the way the majority of people today depend on the medical profession to care for them. It’s for sure they spent less time in doctor’s offices than we do today.

How people in the rest of the world take care of themselves I cannot say. I’ve never spent much time (except that year the army allowed me the opportunity to experience life in another part of the world) in other places. But I do have an opinion on the culture we’ve cultivated in this country. We’ve grown lazy, we’ve grown complacent, and we’ve grown to depend on the medical profession to take care of us, because taking care of ourselves is work. It entails way too much effort. And, who wants to put for effort when we can sit back, relax, and spend our time watching TV, thumbing through the apps on our phone, playing computer games, smoking our cigarettes, or cannabis, and gorging ourselves with less-than-healthy food?

Okay, here’s what is really on my mind. I see too many people today not taking care of themselves. They don’t eat healthy, they don’t exercise (body and mind), and they’re stressed to no end. They rush around as though they have somewhere they need to be, knowing full well we all wind up in the same place in the end. Why do we need to rush to be first in line? Instead of taking care of themselves, most people expect the medical profession to do it for them. What the hell? If you don’t feel good, the doctor can prescribe a magic pill to make you feel better. When you hurt, the pharmaceutical companies have some great drugs to take away the pain. And why should you worry about your mental health, weight, diet, or overall well-being? No need to put out much effort to take care of yourself when the doctor has all the answers.

How does this relate to my grandparent’s time? Back then, people were responsible for their own care. There were not many doctors, and those that were around concentrated on injuries, and diseases humans have no control over. Then, along came fast food, and pharmaceuticals, the easy life. Why cook when McDonald’s has a readymade meal to grab on the way home? Why cook when you can pick up your phone and have a pizza delivered? Who cares if it’s a poor substitute for a well-cooked meal at home, one made up of healthy ingredients? When the added weight, and poor digestion from the high fat/high sodium content of the food you’ve consumed causes undue stress on parts of your body that results in illness and pain, the doctor and drug companies have the answers.

In times past, people, society as a whole, depended on natural remedies for the maladies that strike from time to time. I’m not saying these things can solve all the problems, but they can ward off many of the health issues we face today. Somewhere along the line we’ve allowed the drug industry, and the medical profession to convince us they are the answer to all that ails us.

I know in other countries the majority of the people rely on nature for the answers to their health problems. In Southeast Asia, and parts of the South Pacific, the people rely on kratom for pain, and anxiety. They’ve done so for centuries. The teas made from red clover have been consumed since long before this country came into existence to combat a variety of illnesses. Anti-inflammatory foods like nuts, fruits, vegetables, and several different spices have, and still are, used around the world to aid healthy living. In most of Asia, people visit apothecaries where they find the natural ingredients to treat the minor illnesses we all are inflicted with from time to time. They only visit the physician’s office when an affliction strikes that is beyond their ability to treat.

Many years ago I had a sciatica problem. After several months of visiting my traditional doctor, consuming the drugs he prescribed, completing the therapy program he recommended, and lots of chiropractic care, I continued to have the problem. When I suggested I might see an acupuncturist, my doctor, and chiropractor, both said that there would be no harm in doing so. As a matter of fact, my family physician even said that the practice of acupuncture had been around much longer than Western medicine, and there might actually be some good in it. He said there wouldn’t be any harm in it, if that is what I wanted to do. I could have saved myself time, and the insurance company money, if I had seen the acupuncturist sooner than I did. In three visits (one week), I was pain free. But, guess what? The insurance company would not cover the expense.

Western medicine does not have all the answers. And drug companies are only out for the money they can fleece from us. That’s why there are so many ads for drugs most of us have to research before we have an inkling of idea what they are intended for. Many times, the side affects can be worse than the problem they are prescribed to treat.

The drug companies employ salesmen who hand out samples to doctors and hospitals like candy at Halloween. Each month they push certain drugs, and target select physicians. Anything to collect the money insurance companies are willing to hand over. And who pays the premiums, and co-pays on those insurance policies?

Okay, I’m done with this disjointed effort at complaining about culture in the United States, done for today, just for today. I’ll have more to say at a later date. You can be sure of that. I’m rather disgusted with my fellow (wo)man in the way they treat their own body, and mind. There’s nothing I can do about others, but I can treat myself with kindness. It’s no guarantee I will live a long, disease-free life, but I will live a happy, healthy one in the short time I am on this planet.

Meanwhile, you can take comfort in knowing that the medical profession is helping you live longer than previous generations, even if your life is dependent on visiting the doctor two or three times a year, and living off the pills he/she dispenses.

Good night, Mrs. Jackson, wherever you are.