Monday, December 5, 2011

Thought for the Day - The Relationship Between Our Health and Our Support Systems

Looking at the number of health crises that are going on around me, some imagined and some real (but mostly psychosomatic in my opinion which is probably a bigger problem than the real thing) I cannot help think that it has much to do with us as an individual in relation to society around us. We have gradually, over a period of the last twenty years or so, drifted away from our support systems - our family, our friends, our neighbours and communities - and are drifting by ourselves in the high seas with no anchor.

We have all, in the new world order, in our new economies, in our new avatars, come to deceive ourselves into thinking that we are really capable of handling it all by ourselves. That we do not need any kind of a support system. This sudden lack of a support system, this lack of a place to communicate, to feel supported has suddenly gone away and in the place of real people like family and friends, we have insurance companies, helplines, doctors, facebook and google to make us feel like we are taken care of but what actually scares us to death and stresses the hell out of everyone. No wonder everyone is grappling with serious lifestyle disorders at forty.

The truth as I see it is just that. Families have fragmented. There are few families that can claim to have the kind of a bonding and support system as things used to be twenty years ago. Then fathers were authority figures and they could decide on any problem in the household. mothers for the soft advise. Now old parents have no say over anything almost - except babysitting. Friends are now all about facebook friends to whom we only have to show a cool, nice, happening part of ourselves. You cannot show them your fears, your worries, you cannot share things you want to with them over a quiet walk, or a sleepover, or a game. When was the last time we had heart to heart talks with our 'real' friends and talked and laughed and shared.

Parents and relations are wonderful sources of wisdom and knowledge. They can help if given a chance, by just being there. All we need is people to be around us, to call, to meet, to talk. Friends are the greatest stress busters one can have. Instead of bottling up or having a life full of fake friends, one can go and talk to some real friends.

Everyone has an off day, everyone feels low. No one is always happy and cool and happening. So get real and get back to getting your support systems in place. Get the family behind you, your valuable support systems, your parents, your brothers and sisters, your aunts and uncles, your cousins - even though you think it may not look cool. Get your friends together, the 'real' ones, behind you.

But it means investing your time and showing that you genuinely care and will back them just as they back you. Articulate it to your friends and family that you need their support and that they can count on your support too. Life will suddenly have amazing possibilities, you have so many people to share with and life does not look so bad at all. When you have your whole support system behind you believe me, it will look really cool than many 'likes' and idiotic 'comments'.

Walk into any slum and see how strong knit they are together. You cannot break them. They know they are in it together and stand by one another. Communities are that way. Start building those little friendships with your neighbours. Send them prasad, invite them for a cup of tea. Have friends over for dinner. Wish people on their birthdays and anniversaries. Send flowers, call, write, be nice. Living in a society means that you do the small things well - you are polite, mannered and follow basic etiquette - like greeting people, asking after them and their families, playing the host. You will need to give to get and in almost all cases what you give is what you get. You behave badly and people ignore you. Why would they waste time on you and put up with you. But you show that you care for people and are there for them, they will normally be there for you.

Get real. Start practicing that smile and get rid of that constant frown. Be nice to people and support them. Ask them for support when you need it. We are all here together and together we can make a huge difference to each one of us. And I am sure most health problems disappear as you laugh more, meet more people and share a lot more. You will certainly feel more supported as you get a chance to express yourself, ask for help and volunteer help. Worth trying. As for me, I am hitting the address book right now. All for one and one for all!


Rajendra said...

Crack a few PJs- it helps too!

Harimohan said...

I think Readers Digest got that bang on with their 'Laughter the best medicine'. Nothing beats stress like PJs surely, especially if you have an appreciative audience (if you don't then you add to the stress!) Need to introduce the humour blogpost and get that side tickling. Also would help if you made more trips to Hyd to get some PJs started!