According to a Washington Post article that came out today (“Health information remains high on the list of popular uses for the Internet” by Nancy Szokan), people looking for answers about health issues is the 3rd largest use of that increasingly ubiquitous source of information. That’s right – the 3rd largest!
All of this comes from a Pew Internet Project report that’s being issued today.
What’s number 1 and 2 you might be asking? Email and search engines.
I think this is all pretty astounding. With all of the topics to be searching for information about, health comes up as a major priority.
But I suppose it isn’t so astounding after all. I mean, good health is something that we all want, that we’re all happy for, but that so many folks aren’t experiencing. It’s a topic that’s on so many people’s minds. They’re concerned about it. Maybe they’re even fearful about, or they’re dealing with some issues – serious or otherwise.
I’ve noticed at social gatherings – and maybe you have, too – that many people, old and young, are now eager to talk about their physical ailments, challenges, surgeries, and so forth. A few years ago, the realm of that type of discussion seemed mainly to be limited to seniors. Not any more.
And there often appears to be such a linkage with that discussion – a discussion which is often laced with a high level of knowledge about medical procedures, drugs, etc. – to the identity of the individual.
What do I mean by that?
Well, I think that people are often confusing their state of health with who they actually are. Sometimes it’s worn as a “badge of honor.” I remember as a child feeling that if I cut my finger or received some sort of wound, it was equivalent to a soldier being wounded – there was something noble about it. Childhood fantasies to be sure – but fantasies that I was not alone in and which I don’t think are limited to childhood.
Other times it seems to fill a void in people’s lives. Now, please don’t get me wrong here. I know that these individuals are suffering. I know that they’re in pain and, as a Christian, my heart naturally goes out to them. But the education – and that’s what it is – to be continuously discussing these problems doesn’t seem to be doing anyone a lot of good. I hear all age groups describing themselves in health-related terms – “I’m a diabetic” or “I’m allergic to such and such” or “I have ADD” or “I can’t do this or that because…” (you fill in the blank).
Now, some of you may be asking “What’s wrong with that? They’re only being honest and realistic. They know their limitations.”
But I have to ask these questions: Is this constant identification of ourselves as a person of ill or fragile health – or as someone that’s susceptible to ill health – really good for us? Is that really who we are? Is this our real identity? Should we just accept those limitations?
As you might have guessed, my answer would have to be “No” to each of those questions.
How can I say that?
Well, from experience – my experience in Christian Science. When I’ve had physical problems, I’ve learned that when I get a clearer idea of my identity as being a child of God, and feeling the infinite love that God has for everyone, I’ve experienced a complete healing of whatever the situation was and whatever the limitations were. Complete!
It’s that same understanding – that same feeling – that allows a Christian Science practitioner to help others who call them for healing. As they say, “I know whereof I speak” because I’ve both experienced it as a patient and seen the results in my own work as a Christian Science practitioner.
And here’s another thing to consider. I’m not alone in finding this out. Generations – hundreds of thousands of people from around the world – have experienced that very same outcome by using Christian Science as a system of healthcare. A system that’s available to anyone – day or night.