10. We all deserve health and happiness, well don’t we, now?
It was a strangely lucky day for me, I was drinking in Paris with a group of people who included a very senior civil servant, a person who worked at the very top level of government. As the conversation progressed, the government’s relation to the health of the populace arose. This very well connected person, in response to my disappointment at the government with relation to health policy, replied as if shocked into an awareness of my ignorance. “We don’t want you to live a long time, the country can’t afford it.”
I encourage you to consider all actions taken by senior government with this thought in mind when making your own choices about your health and your lifestyle. If you ever wonder why carcinogens are allowed in your carpet, why various forms of sugar are the primary diet element in the food of school children, of first nations and the poor, why no one at senior government is really concerned about the massive RRSP wealth reduction, you may consider the quote that changed my thinking about the government and my relation to my government in terms of my health and happiness.
Health and happiness are the natural right of people and if your lifestyle is not providing those things, who are you working for or under and why? We are capable of joy in community and yet we are all vulnerable to be slaves of debt and the corporate state. Even though it does not seem self evident, the choice is ours.
One of the sideline benefits of the eco movement is a return to community which often is a return to health and happiness for people who have been separated from family, from community and even from the natural world, all in a rush to pay bills, make interest payments and pay mortgages.
You have a right to health and happiness but please do not look to the state to provide a framework of that for you. These qualities of a healthy and happy life are a right that people over the ages sometimes have had to struggle to maintain but our health and happiness are worth the effort and that effort is best done with friends.