by Don Ingwerson
When I first heard about “smart houses,” I thought maybe they were smart because they allowed you to close the garage doors from your cell phone or could let you know if the house’s security was violated. Maybe remotely control the temperature – hoping to reduce utility bills. But when I saw an article about smart houses being healthy, I wondered how health could be tied to a smart house.
Wow, were my eyes opened when I read about houses having a digital cookbook that calls up recipes based on what ingredients are in the house! No eggs? No omelets. Can you imagine your response when you reach for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and your freezer asks, “Do you really need that?” Or your reaction to the full length, interactive mirror that tells you not only that your slacks look a little wrinkled, but also what your blood pressure, weight, BMI, hydration level, pulse, and oxygen levels are. These are just a few of the technical features in a new smart home in Florida that is designed to help the occupants make healthy choices and stick to health goals. Health reporter Marni Jameson toured this Florida smart home and was struck by the technological capability it offered the owner– it was like having your own personal trainer, dietician, and physician all right with you in your home.
Although the smart home is impressive in its ability to address physical issues, what about addressing the inner person, or the spiritual aspects that are so important to health? Would these technological advances instead lead to focusing exclusively on the physical well being and encourage the “Adonis complex,” in which an individual becomes preoccupied with thoughts of appearance, thereby making the smart house a negative influence on health? According to research, wholly focusing on what is wrong physically can be counter productive and actually cause harm.
Toward the end of the nineteenth century Mary Baker Eddy, a religious reformer and health care pioneer, wrote: “…which mind-picture or externalized thought shall be real to you, — the material or the spiritual? Both you cannot have. You are bringing out your own ideal.” Looking more at the spiritual “picture” enables a person to externalize these healthy spiritual qualities – and many find this spiritual focus through meditation and prayer.
Just imagine: the use of this spiritual platform would allow the smart house concept to be based upon your own health views and not just a response to medical diagnoses and treatment.
Eddy’s pioneering view established that there are many more aspects of health than just the physical. Her writings are in sync with current research, showing that cultivating harmony, happiness, good will, compassion, and gratitude produces a healthier life. To give these more spiritual components a high priority when programming health requirements in one’s smart house may be the wisest move yet.
Opening the front door of my smart house, I want to be asked, “Did you make someone’s day today?