Saturday, May 11, 2013

Healthy Living


Alcohol also contributes to lifestyle diseases. Good to see billboard such as this one declaring war on alcohol abuse.

Fear of death makes people doing the wrong things. Fear should be a wake up call for one to think about taking advice, council, and changing one’s tactics to avoid death. So often people all around us let fear grip them as if there are no choices to make. We fear death, that’s inevitable, but must also not allow that fear to take complete control of our lives. Think about how to get out of that fear. Think about the options available.

This was part of the discussion I had with Dr. Chris Kinibi, the Medical Director of the University Clinic last week. I had visited him after going through one and half week of illness resulting from severe cold and flu. I contracted the cold and flu illness from staying out late and in the open the previous weeks as a result of visiting several ‘haus krais’. It was that exposure to the elements of dust, airborne bacteria, and contact with others through handshakes that could have provided the opportunity for the infection to take hold of me.

Dr. Kinibi wrote down the meaning of FEAR as he explained many things about life-style diseases, healing in the biomedical sense, and also in the spiritual sense. F stands for False; E stands for Evidence; A stands for Appearing, and R stands for Real, was how the good Doctor explained the meaning of that word to me. 

After he had diagnosed me of my affliction the good Dr. Kinibi shared some of his deep thoughts on what he thinks are some of the things people should know about health, life-style, work, and family. Many young professional between the ages of 45 and 58 die young as a result of life-style diseases. It is true, I agreed with the UPNG medical doctor, but felt guilty because even though at UPNG we have medical advice and service made available to us, most of us fail to use the Clinic. For those of us in the ‘high calories use’ employment bracket the service is open for consultations, yet we ignore it, playing the knowing it all game until death finds us to our own detriment.

Depending on the life-style one has lived in their early years before the critical age of 45 one has to reassess one’s own life, re-examine habits, life-styles, and attitudes to everything from work, money, family, friends, and daily habits. It is important that these are looked at critically and with self-discipline. Make amends where necessary, intervene into negative habits, and adopt positive family oriented life-styles. Simple things like spending time with family more, allowing one’s spiritual faculty to be enriched in prayer and divine interventions, and opting for more balanced approach to one’s life can help save lives.

Our conversation on good health and what each one of us must do to care for our lives is made possible, because Dr. Kinibi has by now full knowledge of what my medical history is when it comes to health problems. I was glad he took the time to talk to me about good healthy living habits and in addition to the medical explanation of illness and healing. The reassuring part of the conversation with Dr. Kinibi was about the spiritual faculty of our lives. It was good to go beyond discussions on biomedicine to spiritual healing. One cannot avoid the experience of spiritual interventions in our societies. The good doctor felt that many people need to allow Jesus into their lives to give them a sense of peace, balance, and restored mind from the pressures and stress associated with work and the contemporary life-styles we are living. The spiritual dimension of our lives must never be under valued or relegated the realm of mysticism.
Bomana Catholic Seminary Chapel

I found out that Apostle Luke was also a medical physician in those days and this is reflected in the style of writing that is different to the other Gospels in the Bible. Luke is more intellectual and challenges us to read and think beyond the ordinary about meanings embedded deep within our lives.

Dr. Kinibi made reference to Romans 8: 28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who live him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I reflected on it later at home. I realized that instead of letting fear take control of my life I need to replace that with the Word of God by programming into the mental hard-drive so that in whatever circumstances I find myself in where fear threatens to control my life I can replace it God’s presence in it. That is a powerful feeling.

The discussion with the UPNG medical doctor was very renewing and rewarding too as a patient but as someone concerned about my own health and life. I want to live a long life, but the way death seems to make its ugly presence felt in my communities and work environment, I have reason to start thinking about more life-changing positive approaches to life.

I have written about fear some time ago after reading the John Maxwell’s book. The two greatest detours in life, according to John Maxwell are: (1) fear of the unknown and (2) fear of failing. These fears are experienced everyday in our lives. The fear of the unknown stops people from taking advantage of the situation, when a problem appears in their journey. People are unwilling to take a detour from their original plans. Some people just resign or give up because they are not willing to learn something new from the situation. The second fear is that of failure, which many people have in their journeys.  Nothing could be overstated with how people deal with their fears.

John Maxwell’s teaching on dealing with fear and failure are sound advice that helped me to face my own fears of the unknown and the fear of failure.

Next week we will continue to talk about the element of fear as part of our lives. 

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