We all know that we can only behave in accordance with the environment that we were nurtured in so if that is one of poor food choices and little movement we will reflect that, and continue to pass this behaviour down through the generations with little thought as to how to correct it.
Many of us believe there is no need to make change as this is our normal and we see the behaviours reflected in our community and in our whanau, so we continue to get the permission we need until that catalyst occurs (often presenting as death or a terminal disease).
I still find it incredible that people continue to smoke with all the health warnings. Surely the packet art can't be too much clearer; if you smoke you will die. Sure we all die at some stage but the odds are up that the smoker will die earlier and of a more unpleasant death, especially if emphysema becomes the challenge.
Yet a percentage of the population continues to smoke!! The same percentage that will hear and react in disbelief when they encounter a myriad of health issues as they journey through life.
A Guerilla Gardener in South Central LA
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Obese adults can give their kids permission to behave and nourish themselves in a poor way, often they know no better, as this is what they have always done but I am sure no one can enjoy the multitude of health challenges that are likely to occur should you not look after your body, nor fuel it with the right food.
There is nothing surer than food is our medicine.
Sure we can get away with more poor choices in the formative years, but it becomes a huge problem as we age and is often irreversible, it simply becomes about managing a more limited quality of life and we shift the dial on our wellness expectations.
We have reacted to so many challenges within our lives and environments with a positive change, yet prioritising our wellness still seems to be the last cab off the rank.
I wander around the local supermarket and love all the cloth bags, even though the critics would say we have to use these over 140 times to counter the impact on the environment that it takes to make them, we are all at least listening and all trying to lessen the impact of the single-use plastic bag and the carnage it has created.
I look at our massive efforts to recycle and reuse in our daily lives. We encourage plastic straws to be outlawed in our local cafes. Even AirNZ have a wooden toothbrush available to the frequent fliers on their long-haul flights replacing the dreaded one use plastic version, a small but conscious start.
We are all aware. We all seem to be making some changes. But our wellness seems to be last in line.
What is the point of a circular economy if we are not around to reap the benefits and have only set up a pathway of habitual behaviour that will be just as limited for the next generation?
The change needs to start with us as a healthier population that will be more engaged and make a lot better choices around continued environmental, social and health challenges.