To Be Thankful

by | Dec 3, 2013 | General Health, Reflection

After over thirty years of medical practice I can state authoritatively that truly healthy people in general share one character trait in common: gratitude.

First, let me expand a bit on what I mean by “healthy”.  It’s not what you may think.

With regard to being healthy, the vegan triathelete may have nothing on the paraplegic, if “healthy” is defined as: “the optimal functioning  of the whole person, body, soul, and spirit, in any and all of life’s circumstances regardless of level or degree of physical ability or disability.”

I see as many unhealthy buff bodybuilders as I do miserable couch-potatoes.

Four of the healthiest people I know or have known: a woman who suffered from a chronic debilitating immune disorder for over 20 years that eventually destroyed her lungs and took her life. I watched her suffer physically but can never recall her complaining; an elderly woman from my church, who, on her deathbed, looked up at me and smiled and asked how she could pray for me; a man my age who died 3 1/2 years after he was given a month to live from metastatic melanoma, spending those three-plus years sharing with others the new life he had found; another man who still lives now after over fifteen years on a ventilator. He has Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS) and can only move his eyes. He communicates by operating a computer cursor with eye movements. By the way, his wife is a saint, too.

These are inspirational people. Full of gratitude. Full of grace.

Be thankful for each new day, and everything it brings, pleasant or painful. It’s the prerequisite to total health.