October 3, 2011

Healthy heart in love and life

The 29th September was World Heart Day. It’s a very important day for all of us! Why is that so? Because we are all living now to be older and so need to take care of the organs that keep us alive. In other words, if you don’t take care of your heart, you will die much sooner, and may deprive Maldivian society of the magnanimous contribution you may contribute to it if you were to live a bit longer. Actually, there are two ways of looking at our blessings of being alive; is our lives to be lived for our own personal benefit or for the benefit of others? Of course, which one you select is your own choice, but I can only suggest to you to start feeling the joy of service to others. So even just for that, trying to live longer for the benefit of Maldivian society would be a very wise decision that we all could really cherish in our collective conscience.
But of course turning away from this ethereal aspect of our lives as some of us would like to believe because it seems unimportant or too distant a possibility, the mundane aspects are also important, and particularly more so for the more hedonistic. In this age of non-communicable diseases, the need to lead a healthy life throughout our lives – including the period we call old age is as important as being healthy when we are young. We just don’t seem to know it because old age comes after being young, and when young, the idea of old age never occurs to us because we are young. In fact we even divide society into two distinct groups called the young and the old, without giving an inkling of thought to these two aspects being on a continuum. When we are young, we can afford to think this way, because of the vanity that pervades our very being, but when the wisdom of life lived dawns on us, what we did to our bodies in those vain and narcissistic days cannot be redeemed. It will be too late. As they say, no need to cry over spilt milk!

The heart that gives us these blessings of life must be cared for, just as we would for any other organ of our body. Unfortunately, keeping the heart healthy requires a good preventive regimen of daily action on our part. No pain no gain they say, and often this entails having to give up some of the things that we hold close to our “hearts” (what a contradiction!!): things such as smoking (we may delight in the ‘style’ it projects, as we burn our insides); those tasty fried and fat-loaded, and the sweet foods (keeping cautious of the Macs, the potato chips, and the cokes etc), and of course the constant batch of worries that some of us seem to indulge in daily. This worry is the stress factor in life that is the most worrisome for the onset of heart disease. The smoking that can give you a clot in your cholesterol filled artery can be the final plug too. How can we get away from worry and the stress it generates? First of all worry is 90 percent your own mind’s fabrications. If we can learn to accept that and become more aware of the profile of our worries, we can eliminate it or never ever let it bother us. So you will just have only 10 percent of the worries left to deal with.

I guess this blog is getting too long already, so let’s talk about how to deal with worry in another of our meetings. So please take care of your heart through this multi-faceted prevention regime, and be sure it will serve you well and long. We all need each other to live long -- to give your voice to creating a healthy community of Maldivians.

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