Across the country and in Black households across the nation the discussion about health care is a major topic. We can expect more chatter and media coverage on this issue as we approach the presidential election in the fall. Besides the traditional concerns percolating around health care – from insurance costs to coverage limitations, there is a major blind spot in how health care policy impacts Black communities. Yet in these discussions with regard to the nation’s communities of color we have an opportunity to not just react but become proactive and design our own health care blueprints.
When this topic reaches the airwaves and grapevines of discourse in Black communities instead of just another indictment on the levels of obesity in our community we need to augment this health care chatter with a focus that goes beyond our obsessions with shirt and skirt sizes. We need to elevate the concern about the nation’s healthcare policies and make it specific to our collective objectives and issues. Our demands should include more mental health options for every age level in our community with program themes that focused on depression and family dysfunction. We need innovative programs that awake self-esteem and self worth. We need health options that inspire, promote and cement community values.
Healthcare discussions in our communities should also encompass items on the menu that feed our minds and soul not just what is for dinner or lunch. There is more to staying healthy than mortality rates about cancer and heart diseases in our communities. We must acknowledge other items in our lives are just as toxic and lethal to our health and welfare.
We need to define a menu for healthful community living. This menu does not have to be complex nor the latest gimmick or new age philosophy created by some fictional guru. It is therefore critical that we take the time to design a menu of healthy life that is not only comprehensive and balanced but at it’s core the focused is on our mental, spiritual and community centered needs. Our communities are not only unhealthy because of the items we digest but we are hungry in spirit because of items we don’t feed our community and ourselves.
Our mental state of health is as critical as any diet. It is important that we feed our minds with good ideas and positive experiences. One could argue that without a strong mental constitution a super healthy person without an equally progressive state of mind is a waste of good health. We need to give others compliments and share good work place outcomes. We need to affirm and reward positive behavior not just with our families but also with friends and strangers. The content of a meaningful life is often items not on the menu. We must cultivate and harvest a loving and nurturing environment.
So in the absence of such a daily menu we must develop and create a menu of life that does focus on items which enhances our daily living as we navigate in the place called America. On an individual and collective level we must reject toxic thoughts that seek to enter inside our bodies. We should never read negative materials nor watch negative images on the TV or the computer screens and cell phones while we consume our daily meals. We should monitor emails and avoid downloading toxic and counterproductive materials from all sources including friends and associates.
We should digest good music, inhale wonderful aromas, touch beautiful things and absorb the atmospheric of imagination. We should watch wonderful images and eat the splendor of the world. Our menu for life is more than just eating a happy meal but also living a life that is happy, positive and rewarding.