Charles Runels, MD
When I speak with people about why they donít do the things they know to be healthful (and when I consider my own distractions and failures), I frequently hear that ďThereís not enough time.Ē Many people, so convinced they are that there is not sufficient time for healthy behavior, will not even attempt to care for the body. They even become angry when discussing the idea, for example, of walking 3 miles a day, replying to the effect that some may be blessed with time for exercise but they must continue to sacrifice the body because responsibilities donít allow time for optimum self care.
This weekís virtue, Order, is the beginning of the cure for the ďlack-of-timeĒ barrier to self care. Most people have at least one tool (from a do list to a palm computer) that they use to attempt to infuse Order. But, even with these tools, most people (good research shows) still fail to find the time to take optimum care of the body.
I donít claim that the war for staking claim to time for self care goes easily. But, I do claim that the war can be won and hope to describe for you over the next few days a strategy to win that war. Though Iíve found myself falling into the trap of insufficient time for self care on many occasions, Iíve always found that when I approach the endeavor in the way I will offer you that I make more time to do what I want and need to do. Let me say that again more plainly: even though taking care of your body properly will take about an hour per day, you will find more productive time on the days you spend that hour.
Remember the goose that lay the golden egg? We all learned this lesson as children; most of us were never taught how to put the lesson to use in a practical way. I am the goose. You are the goose. The golden egg is the love you give to family, the service you give to customers, the encouragement you give to friends.
I am also the farmer; so are you. Remember, he killed the goose to try and obtain eggs more rapidly. The people who consume the golden eggs we lay will encourage us to lay more rapidly; but those people canít choke us for more eggs. Itís really we who choke ourselves trying to accommodate that outside request for more. Most of us can and must say the occasional ďnoĒ both to others and to ourselves when considering putting the less important in front of the more important. So, we choke ourselves by not knowing how to pace the egg production in a way that meets our responsibilities as well as allows time to care for the goose.
When Benjamin Franklin described the virtues in his autobiography, he listed them in an order such that each preceding virtue helped ease the acquisition of the following virtues. Temperance came first because without clear thinking and sobriety he didnít think he could do much. Silence came next because he recognized the mountains of time wasted and possible damage resulting from idle chatter. Next, he listed Order, realizing this virtue also gave him time. Tomorrow, we'll discuss how to practically apply this virtue to the task of improving health.
__ Exodus Chapters 13 - 17
__ Walk 3 miles: actual miles _____
__ Eat 5 fruits or vegetables _____
__ Virtue: Order - Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have itís time.