It used to be that when you asked most people in the West what they did, you’d get the usual,I’m a plumber, or I’m a nurse,accountant or I’m a house wife,or… Well, you get the picture.For many decades people have often referenced ‘who’ they were by what type of job they did. And the rest of us would then know exactly what box that person fitted into and imagine we also understood where they fitted in on the social scale and hierarchy. And of course that person knew who they were too and simply got busy settling into being comfortable in that particular pigeon hole for the rest of their working lives.

Their job was their identity and who they were – and that was it! Everything they did was centered around that identity and woe betide anyone who tried to throw them out of that particular nest.

Then, when the working life came to its natural end they became retired plumbers or nurses or accountants. Though I’ve never heard anyone call themselves are tired housewife!

For some, getting on in life meant that they would be looking to do a ‘better’ job. That often meant more money, maybe more respect and perhaps some measure of prestige as they moved up the imaginary scale of some jobs being better than others. And once the ‘career move’ had been accomplished,that would bring about a gradual transformation into a new identity more suited to the new position – bigger house, faster car, membership at the club. You know the drill…

For many, identifying who they are with their profession still rings true. Yet… more and more I’m noticing that people have started to reference who they are by something else – by what particular ‘dis-ease’ they are burdened with.

No longer do you get the I’m a plumber. Instead it’s… Well…I’m a diabetic, I’m gluten intolerant, I’m an arthritic, I suffer from IBS and so on.

Yes, all of these health problems are real and all of them cause immense suffering and pain to those afflicted with them.

The sad thing is that medical science has decreed that once you get one (or more) of the many of the disease that affect our modern society – then you’ve got it for life. They reinforce that identity of disease onto people’s idea of who they are -as do many of the supposed support groups that abound in every field.

And the insidious result of this permanent pigeonholing is that the thought that one could ever be free of a disease is put firmly on the back burner. Which is exactly where the drug makers want it to be. On the one hand they give a drug that goes some way toward alleviating some of the symptoms and with the other hand, they take away any hope of being free of the disease.

Yet we (who have put into practice the advantages of diet and lifestyle changes) all know that so many of these diseases can be reversed through the very simple premise of moving away from the dietary and lifestyle habits that caused them in the first place. Which is another way of saying ‘cured’.

It’s not rocket science.

It’s just common sense.

But that has become rare nowadays – particularly amongst those that can make a buck or two out of encouraging people to stay in that ‘oh so familiar’ pigeon hole.

Listen out for the “I’m an XYZ health problem” and gently encourage someone to think about themselves more positively.You just might help change someone’s life for the better.

All the best

Mark

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