Health has become a big part of my life whether I wanted it to be or not. It’s not a topic that I shy away from here on my blog or any of my social media. I think it’s a necessary conversation to have because there’s so many out there in need of resources; and by sharing health stories openly it has the potential to help.
Despite the fact that everyone will experience some sort of health issue in their lifetime whether minor or major; there’s a stigma that needs to be broken when it comes to the discussion of health.
Wealth Not a Value System
All my life I’ve heard that health is wealth. To a certain degree I can understand that. Being in relative good health provides privilege and opportunity in some ways. However, the problem is that too many people use health to define the value of a person. Insurance companies charge more for coverage or deny it all together if a person is “unhealthy” or even at a higher risk of developing a health issue.
People who have to deal with health issues often feel the need to hide their conditions because they know how they will perceived by employers (despite laws meant to protect), family, friends and even strangers. When brands market wellness products it’s with the implicit bias that being unhealthy is the worst thing that can happen. Grant it, no one wants to sign up to deal with any illness; but there are certainly worse things in the world.
Normalize Conversations About Health
Recently I’ve had a few people disclose to me their diagnoses. They’ve not told anyone for various reasons including shame because of their weight, not wanting to be seen as weak, and even struggling with acceptance. It’s definitely not easy to receive the news that your body or mind is changing in a way that you may not be able to control without assistance
The question that should be considered is why do people have to be shrouded in shame or fear of perception simply for being “unhealthy”?
Health is a Spectrum
Now, this is my opinion (not fact that I know of) but just hear me out. Having a health problem can mean many things! It’s not just limited to physical health either. A person in great physical health might have some mental or emotional health issues. Or a person may have physical and mental health issues (because we all know by now that goes hand in hand).
Or a person might have health issues that don’t affect their quality of life while another person might be tremendously impacted by the their health. Wherever you fall on the health spectrum, your value as a person does not increase or decrease!
The Main Point
No matter your health status, what always matters more than anything is the content of your character. In a world that is so very divided; we have the opportunity to do the bare minimum which is show respect to one another as humans.
Compromised health is an unfortunate side effect of human imperfection. There is no one who walks among us who has never been ill or won’t become ill at some point in their life time. God forbid you become the person who is “severely ill” or grappling with their health. Imagine the toll it would take on you to be able to see yourself as valuable anymore.
The next time you find yourself assessing someone who has a disability or an illness and assigning their worth based on those things; do us all a favor and don’t.
Until Next Time,