Everywhere I turn, people are watching what they eat. There are articles online for losing weight and eating healthy. There are specialty stores for all things organic and all things nutritious. There never used to be any “light” or “lite” picks on the menu. But now it seems a menu can’t survive without having a light-calorie meal or a vegetarian dish. I know few vegetarians and they swear by their declared independence from meat. Add to that, the obsession with running and marathons and yoga and exercise. The world is on a mission to make everyone lean and healthy.

And it is a good thing. People are taking better care of themselves to avoid getting all these modern diseases that have no preference for age, gender or social class. But it makes me wonder, shouldn’t we be taking as much care of our minds, our hearts and our souls as much as we take care of our bodies?

Do we take as much care of what we read, or watch or view as much as we take care of what we eat? Are the books we read making us more intelligent, more understanding of those around us? Are the tv shows we watch making our imaginations healthy and our outlook more humble? Or are they making us more neurotic, more arrogant and judgmental? Do they fill our minds with praise or with profanity?

Maybe we should think about spending as much time making sure our abs are ripped as we do dulling our sharp tongues. Maybe we should consider spending as much time counting our calories as we do counting our blessings. Maybe we should learn to bring the same single-minded concentration we have in the gym into the church, as well. And maybe we can spend the same amount of time, effort, and money to live a healthy lifestyle as we do to build healthy relationships.

We are none of us staying permanently on this earth—no matter how healthy we are. And while this “mortal coil” must return to dust, I hardly think we’d want to be remembered more for being a healthy human rather than a happy, humane or better yet, holy one.

[Originally written in TACKED THOUGHTS for The Freeman
by Nancy Unchuan Toledo]

About Nancy Unchuan Toledo

When Nancy started teaching high school at age 21, she didn’t really think she’d make a career out of it. She was right. Ten years later and she realized teaching isn’t her career, it’s her passion. Writing is her passion, too, and she writes a bi-monthly column for the Freeman. Mostly she writes about her family, her friends, her students, her experiences in teaching, her love of books and her faith. Because those are the things that she cares about the most–although not necessarily in that order.

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