Handbook of Practical Guide to Understanding, Principles, Concepts and Applications of Wellness
Life is all about a destination, happiness, the ultimate goal of wellness. Democritus said that "Happiness resides not in possessions and not in gold, power, nor money; the feeling of Happiness dwells in the soul". The awareness of the need to balance out (Body - Spirit - Soul - Emotions - Mind) lays the groundwork for real happiness and this affects how long or short we live on this planet; how enjoyable it is while we are here; how creative or destructive; how well or bad we do in school / job; what our looks are like; and what our sex lives are - it is all about wellness.
Mostly all over the world, the past 200 years, life expectancy has virtually doubled and is still increasing. People still grow older and older and feel younger and younger at times than even their children. It is hardly surprising that they want fresh and vibrant looks to match their zest for life, youthfulness, fitness and flexibility even when they reach the age of 70 and above. Call it "The Fountain of Youth". This is real and discoverable under the natural world of wellness and beauty as well as hundreds of products and practices that make all that possible.
Naturally, people grow older - Yes; only by number but look and feel younger. Hence, the rising demand for wellness products, services, latest information and practices to keep them focused in the journey. However, strange as it may seem, the reverse looks as if its real in some sections/areas of the modern societies despite all the advances in science/research in the areas of medicine, healthcare, supplements and preventive measures.
It even seems stranger to realize that in some localities/areas life expectancy (longevity) was by far much higher than what normally obtains presently.
There is a contradiction somewhere along the line.
"Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another" Satires Juvenal
Through politics, civilization, development, modernity and technology the so-called modern man has failed to show enough wisdom about his body and general life activities in relation to nature. A little wisdom is what we need to keep the immune system and body performing at optimum level without much breakdown, and aid us save for the "rainy day". Excellence here is a mindset, not just a goal. Planning, focus, intensity and consistency are what separate champs from those who always fall short.
A good number of traditional people, natives or tribes of many local cultures in remote villages today are aged over 70 and still strong. This is so, probably because they are less distracted by civilisation and modern life activities; are far away from noisy confusion of politics, development; and are more tuned to as well as look into nature deeper than the modern man.
Albert Einstein said; "Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better". There are many living examples of these people who have outlived their children and unbelievably stronger too.
"There is something of the marvellous in all things of nature", says Aristotle. Look at the great skies, the deep sea and marvellous creatures as well as wildlife, etc - everything and all are united in one great thing, life, and place, the planet, and one purpose, the preservation of life and environment. However, politics, civilisation, development and modern life constitute great hindrances to this purpose.
Most certainly, to experience good stride in any real life situation calls for respect and observation of the natural laws and living in accordance with the universal principles that are for ions hidden in wise sayings. However, to persons of this day, nature or natural living does not necessarily mean the same as the "real" nature. What is natural actually could be the opposite - artificial. Simply put: our common sense or wisdom is in conflict with nature.
John Stuart Mill, the English philosopher, in an address (delivered) to the University of St. Andrews (Scotland) defined education as the culture which each generation gives to those who are to be its successors in order to prepare (or equip) them to be able to improve or, at least, maintain the level of development which is obtained. In whatever state a society is today is most probably just a reflection of that culture which the past generation handed down to her successors.
In the process of child education from the family unit, through primary, secondary and higher institutions, conflicts exist between nature and wisdom here and there. Nature, God, Allah (or whatever you conceive Him to be) has put unlimited hidden treasures under the deep sea, blue sky, dry deserts, thick forests, wildlife, trees, shrubs, grasses, rocks, minerals, etc on earth - seen and unseen all around us. These hidden secrets can help each and everyone of us lead a naturally better, healthier and happier life - beyond our imagination. The education system / process has left so much undone in this area.
Wellness principles, concepts and practices (if well understood and practiced) will certainly take us closer and closer back to nature. Optimum wellness environment (OWE), hidden treasures of nature, products & services for physical and emotional healing and well-being, as well as a rejuvenated life along with inner peace and happiness are all possible again especially if man deepens awareness of our interdependence with nature and our environment. We see and experience traditional structures and system fail every day: Parents, teachers, schools, government, rulers, societies, even the professionals, etc simply do not have the much needed solutions. They have systematically lost the culture to give to their successors as they don't just have them anymore.
There is therefore need to work hard to expand the understanding and popular definitions of wellness beyond just narrow focus on individual or collective, exercise, fitness, lifestyle, good nutrition, supplements, herbal remedies etc. Further; from John W. Travis, MD and Meryn G. Callander... "The wellness of an individual cannot be addressed in any meaningful way unless i.e. viewed within the context of the prevailing consciousness of our world".
We have seen it, heard it - over and over again - "as long as we address only the surface manisfestation of our estranged consciousness, we will continue to perpetuate, in changing form, the very maladaptive destructive behaviours that in every moment are killing not only the bodies, but the hearts and souls of peoples everywhere. Furthermore, we cannot focus on individual well-being and discount planetary well-being. What is the point of encouraging individual wellness if there is no planet on which to exist.
From physics, we know we are not separate from each other or from our environment. We somehow influence everything around us by our merely existing - even helpless babe or beggar.
What can be done to make a difference? This calls for positive and practical action on creation and consistent sustenance of Optimal Wellness Environments (OWE) and support networks.
A simple illustration: Years back as undergraduate of University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), it was a common practice for university office workers (also acted as vendors) to display newspapers and magazines unattended outside under trees by the road side. It would not really be surprising (at that time) to anyone that at close of work (about 4pm) the vendor always had correct account balanced without loss of money, paper or magazine. The environments would be more beautiful and friendly without gates, fences etc. Responsible behaviour (Paradigm of Accountability PA) on the part of all persons would not breed mosquitoes, thieves, and all those that defy and degrade the environment making it more unfriendly and hazardous.
It is possible to create and nurture pockets (special areas or centres for developmental study) of safe environments as projects and programmes that can be monitored and evaluated at different places and times through wellness education, OWE and support networks. Making optimal wellness environments (OWE's) is one of the greatest contribution an individual, group, organisation or government can make to the:
- Elevation and restoration of the value of mankind.
- Increased experience of peace and well-being, love and compassion.
- Greater love and compassion for self and one another.
- Peaceful and harmonious co-existence without religious or tribal bias.
- Improved personal and public health, fitness and accelerated development.