Is good health an obligation?

So this is very much my own personal opinion, and something I use to motivate myself…but I would be very interested to hear other’s opinion on the topic because I realize my perspective is not one everybody shares. I believe that I have an obligation to maintain my health. There is some social obligation…I know the effects an unhealthy lifestyle can have on my health, and the ensuing strain it can put on the healthcare system. I certainly want to avoid that. But there is also a moral obligation for me. I have been blessed with a healthy body and the good fortune to have access to an endless variety of food to choose from. I feel that I am being ungrateful for those blessings if I consciously choose to risk my good health. This belief stems from multiple sources. I am religious, so there is that aspect of it. My career as a nurse, and especially my time working with injured service members, has also fueled this belief. There are people everywhere who would love to have the ability to go for a walk after dinner, or on their lunch break. There are people with debilitating diseases and injuries that would give just about anything to be able to take the stairs instead of the elevator, to run around the backyard with their kids, or go for a run with their friends. There are also people across the globe, and right here in the US, who do not have a choice in what they eat every day. They eat whatever they can obtain…whether it is the cheapest item at the store, what the soup kitchens are serving, or what they have left in their cabinets. How can I take these things for granted? This is the only body I get. I’m one of the lucky ones-mine is healthy and functions well. I am responsible to do my part to keep it that way.


As I said, I understand there are many people who do not view health this way. I would love to hear a different perspective on the topic. In the meantime, good or bad, I’m going to use my perspective to keep me at the gym and out of the ice cream aisle!

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2 Responses to Is good health an obligation?

  1. Dad says:

    Dawn, I almost completely agree with your thoughts, except for the ice cream. If we didn’t patronize Cold Stones look at all the people that would be put out of work. If they are not working then they cannot afford to eat healthy. Therefore they would become sickly and not having insurance would become a drain on the ecomomy that would have to pay for their medical treatment. Not just Cold Stones but all the dairys that produce ice cream. This whole idea could snowball and put thousands of people out of work. I feel it is my duty to help keep these people working.

    • Dawn Whiting says:

      Your are so socially responsible. Thank you for making such an excellent point.

      PS-Definitely had a little ice cream tonight 🙂 But just one scoop, and it was reduced fat!

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