Friday, April 19, 2024

NO LAUGHING MATTER: Living a wholesome life

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There is a Fingallic Theory that in order to live a wholesome life, you must be careful to identify the vital components that would be the most beneficial and, having done so, give each area the required attention to achieve the desired result.
This attention, however, must be distributed to such an extent that it allows not only for a high level of satisfaction and enjoyment but at the same time minimizes stress and disappointment. In other words, no one area should carry such a percentage of importance that when that area is non-productive or non-effective, it then causes the non-function of other areas.
Let us first identify these vital areas. First must be HEALTH. For a person to fully enjoy all aspects of life, both physical and mental health must take priority.
Good health allows you to enjoy life biologically and then becomes the pathway for all other achievements.
FAMILY is a key component. So many times we underestimate the value of family. This we usually realize in times of sickness or extreme need when so-called friends disappear and only your parents or siblings are there to support.
CAREER must be seen as one of the major components of that wholesome experience. This allows you to feel some self-worth and to be independent, even provide for your family. In this free enterprise system it is what we all seek.
RELATIONSHIP must be acknowledged as a necessity, especially as it relates to the possible extension to a family. Some relationships can end up in marriages and therefore can then give birth to a plethora of circumstances – some positive, some negative.
Another area of vital significance is CHILD REARING. Its importance should never be underplayed. The job of having someone’s future in your hands is an awesome responsibility and having an entire society as your judge and jury does not ease the burden.
And how can we leave out RECREATION? Because it is most of the time fun-related, most people tend not to see the importance of recreation. Imagine never giving your car a chance to cool off. Surely, it may very well overheat.
So far we have mentioned six areas of significant contribution to a wholesome life but there are many more. Now if these six were to be given equal billing each would get a maximum of 16 per cent but since there are more to come it is clear therefore that all cannot have 16 per cent applied to them.
But what is this percentage of which we speak?  Percentage of what?  How do you evaluate it?
It is the total commitment to the specific area. This includes time, focus, effort, interest, concentration, attention.
It should now be clear that to give more than 16 per cent to one area that another area would suffer.  Therefore your life would not experience the desired balance.
For instance, we all know that some people get excited about love relationships and put as much as 80 per cent of their time and effort into that area. Surely then, more than one component will suffer. This life would be nowhere near the desired balance; hence the neglect of other areas then makes you appear to be a failure not only to others but to yourself also.
There is another downside to putting too much commitment in any one area.  Imagine the same 80 per cent in a relationship and the relationship breaks up.  There is now too much of a void – a deep hole. Too many other areas would have been neglected.
This is when severe depression sets in and it could be the end of you – first mentally, then physically.  A balance must be struck in order to experience a wholesome life.
We have not even mentioned some of the other areas which are essential for wholesome living, such as continued education, religion, having a home, taking “real” vacations, community service, having friends and belonging to a social organization.
These additions further reinforce why no category should get more than 16 per cent. I will give you a breakdown of how the percentages may fall, including all the components mentioned in this article. Of course yours might not correspond with mine but it would be interesting to see yours. Mine is as follows in form of ranking and percentages:
Rank – Area – Percentage
1. – Health (diet, exercise, hygiene, non-sedentary activity) – 15
2. – Career – 12
3. – Child rearing – 12
4. – Relationship – 12
5. – Continued Education – 10
6. – Recreation (indoor/outdoor games, dancing, drive in the country) – 8
7. – Family (parents, siblings) – 7
8. – Having a home (care and upkeep) – 7
9. – Vacation (travel, getaway) – 5
10. – Religion – 4
11. – Friends (2 or 3 true friends) – 4
12. – Community service/member of social organization – 4
Lest I forget, you have to give 100 per cent in every category. Have a pleasant and enjoyable wholesome life!
• Mac Fingall is an entertainer and retired secondary schoolteacher.

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