President Obama stirred up some strong controversy last Friday when he stated in one of his speeches, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
While the politics of that statement have occupied a great deal of the airwaves over the past few days, I have a different take on this controversy. What about your health? Who is responsible for your health or the lack thereof?
What about this: “If you’re healthy, you didn’t do that. Somebody else made that happen.”
Do you really believe that’s true? Who do you want to blame if you’re NOT healthy? And how far are you going to go? What else are you not responsible for?
How about these:
- If you’re happily married, you didn’t do that. Somebody else made that happen.
- If you’re broke, you didn’t do that. Somebody else made that happen.
- If you’re a champion swimmer, you didn’t do that. Somebody else made that happen.
- If you’re miserable and lonely, you didn’t do that. Somebody else made that happen.
- If you’re happy most of the time, you didn’t do that. Somebody else made that happen.
Perhaps I’m overstating the point. But I don’t think so. We are all interdependent on each other and on our community for many things. We wouldn’t have fresh fruits and vegetables to eat if the growers and shippers and merchants didn’t make them available. We wouldn’t have most children surviving to adulthood without clean water and vaccinations.
But where is the sense of personal responsibility?
In response to President Obama, ask any business owner whose effort made the most difference in his or her success, and they will tell you “MY OWN!” Ask any concert pianist how many hours of practice it took to be successful. Ask any champion track star how many hours he trained. Ask any scientist how long it took to discover the breakthrough.
And the same goes for your health!
Each one of us MUST take complete personal responsibility for the choices we make and the life we live. We each choose how much we exercise, what food we eat, what substances we indulge in, and what relationships we engage in. When medical care is available, we choose to take advantage of it, or not.
No, our choices are not the only thing that affects our health. But they are the most important thing!
What percentage of your health is due to your parents or your genes? What percentage is due to government or other institutions/policies? And what percentage is due to your own choices – good or bad?
When you think about it, I believe you’ll find most of it is up to you!
Your turn: What percentage of your health do you attribute to your own choices, and how much to what others have done? Let me know. I’d love to hear from you!
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