July 13, 2010

On going counter-culture.

I was listening to a Focus on the Family radio broadcast tonight and it was really fascinating.  It was an interview with Dr. Richard Swenson on his book In Search of Balance.  I came into the broadcast halfway through so I would like to go back and listen to the beginning to hear everything Dr. Swenson had to say but what really caught my attention was his assertion that 90% of our ("our" meaning those of us living in the Western World) health issues are directly related to the culture at large. 

My health is affected by the culture? Say, what?

Dr. Swenson's point was that our way of living, our societal demands and expectations, and even stress about such things as the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico affect our health.  He goes on to make a few other points: 

  • Eighty-something percent of visits to Primary Care Physicians revolve around stress-related issues.
  • The Western Countries are the most "depressed" of any countries--and the most medicated for depression.
  • Happiness is decreased with material desire and acquisition.
His answer? Simplicity.  So, so, simple.

Now, Dr. Swenson is a very bright man (listen to him talk--you'll see) and he brings up all sorts of issues and a major discussion on progress (with a capital P) that I am not going to go into.  But he certainly made me think.  It seems I am surrounded by people (and yes, I include myself here) who are stressed out, worn out, feeling depressed and just at their general wits-end.  

Why?

Well, Dr. Swenson voiced exactly what I think so many have been feeling.  Our human bodies have physical limitations that cannot possibly keep up with societal expectations.  So, the answer is to go counter-culture, learn to say no, slow down, take back what is ours.  This is the exact feeling I expressed earlier with my call to arms to take back the summer.  We must go simple.

It is amazing that what is so obvious so often eludes us.  It is hard to cut-back and tell people no and do what our bodies and families need so much.  Now Dr. Swenson did say that in his book he discusses how all of this affects our communities, our families, and our faith.  So I am looking forward to checking this book out and I am going back and listening to the broadcast again.

If you're interested, you can listen to the broadcast here.

And, don't quote me on statistics exactly, I was listening to this in the car!  This was a purely voluntary, inspired review!

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