Enlarging our View — Life as Meaningful

a composite image of Our World

Good Day, God!

I realized this morning that the Gift of Laughter is back in my life. Hope is back, too. I hadn’t even known those two were gone.

They were missing — along with due dates of library books and waterings of my beloved anthuriums down in our car port. Not thought of. Not missed. It is kind of scary, God, the number of things that go AWOL when we are sick.

Aaron Antonovsky just popped into my mind, God! I can still remember a newspaper article in which he talked about how almost all of our “health” efforts went into pulling people out of the River of illness. Why, he asked, weren’t we looking upstream to see why they were falling in?

What a great question, God!  And not one that seems to interest us. Prevention, such as it is, seems to be limited to “don’t smoke,” eat less, eat right, and exercise more. Although now there is a growing awareness that good social support helps our health.

Antonovsky was a medical sociologist who was interested in how people’s Generalized Resistance Resources (GRRs) such as money, ego-strength and social support helped them deal with the stressors of life. By ego-strength, I think Antonovsky was referring to people’s “sense of coherence” about life. Coherence involves three beliefs about our life. 1) Comprehensibility 2) Manageability and the most important one, 3) Meaningfulness. 

That last one really resonates with me, God! I remember when our daughter Patty was terminally ill. I said to her doctor at Stanford that the real battle wasn’t between Life and Death — but between Meaning and Meaninglessness. The Wikipedia article on Salutogenesis (a term coined by Antonovsky) defines Meaningfulness as “a belief that things in life are interesting and a source of satisfaction, that things are really worth it and that there is good reason or purpose to care about what happens.”

Perhaps those beliefs are as much the result of Good Health as they are protectors of Good Health. In any case, I’m glad to be well again, God!

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Story teller,

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Posted in friends, health, Hope as a gift from God, learning

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