Thursday, June 08, 2006

Wellness Fair

Today was the Wellness Fair at work. Foot massage, Reiki, healthful snacks, little games that remind you to wash your hands… your tax dollars at work! But they’re only trying to help, right? It’s good information, that will be good for you. Don’t you think it’s a good thing to be healthy? You aren’t against wellness, are you?

Maybe. I’m more concerned about a half-dozen other types of wellness: cultural wellness, spiritual wellness, familial wellness. Intellect, citizenship - I think the list might go on for quite awhile before I got to body wellness. Time spent working on one is time taken from the others.

Wouldn’t people find it just a bit intrusive if me ‘n’ my pals spent a lot of the state’s money to put together our views on how folks should improve themselves culturally or religiously, then took over the hospital lobby for a day to accost people as they went by? Did you know that you could read four books by C. S. Lewis in the same time as it takes to read The DaVinci Code? That you burn more calories praying on your knees than you do meditating?

Citizenship Wellness. Little booths that quiz you on the Bill of Rights. Book tables with Hitchens Why Orwell Still Matters, or O’Rourke’s Parliament of Whores sold at a discount. Flip charts with Ten Things You Can Do To Protect the Constitution.

No, it’s body-worship that’s their national religion now, with considerable overlap on the environmentalist side. Oodles of Good Intentions, hovering to opportunistically strike whenever there’s an opening to tell other folks how to live.

But it’s just good, helpful information on how to be healthy. I don’t see what your problem is.

No, I’m sure you don’t.


Anonymous said...

Doesn't your company have a Book Fair as well? :)

I work for a company that does diabetes research among other things. At every research meeting we are served donuts, pasteries, and cookies. D'oh!

Steve Burri said...

Excellent! (Alright, alright... ANOTHER excellent post!)

I'd like to see you expand on this point even more.

Years ago a friend of mine preached a sermon on 'Changing price tags'. We so often value the cheap things so much more than the priceless. And unfortuately live in this way.

David Foster said...

Isn't it interesting that the fans of reiki (magical crystals), feng shui, astrology, etc, are usually on the Left--ie, the same group of people that accuses the Right of being "antiscientific"?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

nash has a point. I will contemplate.

steve - I like the analogy. As for expanding on it, the modern fascination with body-worship is one of my favorite themes, so I'm sure it will come up again.

david, yes I have noticed, as have others. Not that there aren't plenty of lefties who are as determinedly anti-new age as any fundamentalist, but the gravitation of liberals to alternative medicine, alternative energy, alternative anything, is fascinating. There seems to be some idea that embracing an alternative something shows that you are open-minded and not bound by traditional dogma. Or something.

Anonymous said...

AVI, you've put into words what I've been feeling for a longish time. Wellness is fine, and had I not decided to take care of a bad knee, I wouldn't have found out about the lung cancer till it was too late. Having said that, I've gotta ask what foot rubbing and Reiki (laying on of hands as a stress reducer - oh the power of "life force") have to do with wellness. Any double blind studies? I kind of doubt it.

Good post my friend, damn good post.

Anonymous said...

The odd thing with body worship is that most people who are serious health freaks also seem to be highly promiscuous and don't see the contradiction; eat right, lots of exercise, body scultpting...look great, feel great...and then engage in highly risky physical transfers of bodily fluids which may carry some of the most destructive contaigons known to man.