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Healthy Holiday Season

Posted by Joe Antle on December 27, 2017 10:25 AM EST
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For many people, the holiday season is simply a big gift-giving bonanza  But for others, it's not just a time to eat lots of food and watch football games, but it's also a great opportunity.....

... to really reconnect with friends, do some introspective thinking and spend some time to reflect on the year past.  Despite the time pressures that may accompany many folks' holiday rituals, the social wellbeing and the spiritual renewal that can be captured and relished more than compensate for the excesses in terms of food (a deterrent to physical wellbeing), and heavy consumer spending on gifts (a deterrent to financial wellbeing).  And for those families and individuals who have embraced the concept of donating toys for tots and in helping churches and half-way houses in preparing and serving holiday meals to less fortunate people, there can be the bonus of a boost in community wellbeing too.

We certainly live in challenging times.  The news is full of how the wealthy are becoming wealthier while many in the middle-class and lower echelons (the aged and the young) of our society see themselves moving backward financially.  This year has brought weather catastrophes and natural disasters in Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas and California which have devastated thousands of homes and disrupted the lives of millions of people.  War is still a threat everywhere and terrorism is a real dimension that nobody anywhere in the world can truly feel safe from.  

As a society, in our country and throughout most of the world, healthcare is an issue, broken and often coupled with the word "crisis".  The word crisis is also attached to the growing problem of addiction to alcohol and drugs as in "opioid crisis" or "opioid epidemic".  Many people have lost faith in their public officials and in the notion of "public safety". 

At times, one can hardly be blamed for wondering if there is any hope for solving these challenges and problems which seem to grow year after year.  During a time of year where we are most optimistic, where are the specific foundations we can build our hope upon?

The opportunities brought about by technological advances have opened opportunities to bring many new solutions to bear on these seemingly intransitive problems.  In modern history, sociologists have seen social change and economic periods evolve from the middle ages, the age of monarchies, the agricultural age, and industrial age and the information age.  Is it possible that we can be on the cusp of the "social age" whereby many of the problems and resourceless areas can be resolved by people helping people help each other overcome adversities? 

The holidays give us a time to relax, think of new possibilities, reconnect with people we care about and imagine ways that we as people can somehow become better at putting others first, helping others and together resolving issues that seem to endlessly perplex other institutions of modern day living.

So, here's a toast to H.O.P.E.-"helping other people excel" -the most worthy of all human endeavors!

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