Don’t worry, be healthy…

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Can’t forget Bob Marley. Can’t stop whistling that tune.

“Don’t worry, be happy
Don’t worry, be happy
In every life we have some trouble
When you worry you make it double
Don’t worry, be happy…”

This week your Jamestown Gazette takes a slightly different direction with Bob’s old tune,
“Don’t worry, be healthy.” That’s because worrying and health can have a lot to do with each other. A couple of thousand years ago, St. Matthew even said, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matt 6:27)
No wonder Bob said, “Don’t worry, be happy.”
The U.S. Constitution even says we have an inalienable right to “…the pursuit of happiness.”
But there’s the catch. If you want happiness, you have to pursue it, which in the English used by the writers of the Constitution, meant you have a right to work at it, to go get it.
It’s that way with health, too. Today the United States is in the middle of a decades-long argument over whether healthcare is a right or a privilege. Can we have healthcare because we simply have a right to it, or do we have to buy it?
The trouble with that question is that it is really about two subjects in one. To answer it, we have to take it apart. It starts with the question: “Are health and healthcare the same thing?”
They are only the same when we are babies or totally incapacitated, when we can’t do anything about our own health unless somebody takes care of it for us.
So, unless you are an infant or totally incapacitated, your health is your responsibility. You have to pursue it, work at it. You have a right to not worry about your health because you are taking care of it. If you haven’t done your best to be healthy and I have to pay for your negligence, does than make you a freeloader? Some people say yes.
That’s where healthcare comes in. The problem is that even people who do everything reasonable and possible to stay healthy still get sick or have terrible accidents through absolutely no fault of their own. That’s where some people ask, “Am I my brother’s keeper? Why should I pay?”
The best answer I ever heard to that question is, “I might not be my brother’s keeper, but I am surely my brother’s brother.” Maybe that’s why we need to take care of each other.
Maybe healthcare is something the community – really all of our extended family of brothers and sisters – should consider granting each other.
This week’s story about Chautauqua Center is only a microcosm of trying to find ways to reassure each other in a responsible, financially efficient way, “don’t worry, be healthy.”
Just don’t forget to start by doing your part. Your health starts as your responsibility. I’ll help if you do your part first.
Read all about it right here in your very own Jamestown Gazette, and enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.