by Don Ingwerson
I came to the Southern California area in the late 50’s from the Midwest to begin a teaching career. I loved the youthful spirit I found and the encouragement of that “can do” mentality. Today I still feel the winds of that freshness, where people tend to support what they created and they understand that many times progress calls for an innovative approach. But we are now at a new crossroads. Can we keep the youthful vigor – reflected throughout California – by including all 83 million Californians in the search for an inclusive health care solution?
Not a Wild West approach to health, but where the public has a much stronger say in what is made available in the health care arena – especially where mind-body-spirit is included in the discussion. The greatest untapped health care resource is the public – you and me. Health is very personal. Instead of having restrictions on health care, people need to have the freedom to manage health in the way they choose. That means that health advocates be willing to collaborate with the public to understand public needs and desires – supporting freedom of choice by incorporating holistic health care in insurance policies. This would be a step in the right direction from our current “disease-care” system into a bona fide health care system.
An area that is on the cutting edge of medicine and leads to new choices in health care is being explored. This area is in consciousness, spirituality, and our connection to the Divine. Schools of medicine are aware of these connections and have quietly included courses on spirituality and integrative medicine in over 90% of medical schools in the United States. With the idea that health is in the domain of spirit/consciousness, the idea that prayer may be an integral component of health is gaining ground.
This area grew because it listened to its citizens and allowed them to be the best they could be. May this same condition exist as we rethink the new frontier of health in the areas of mind-body-spirit and recognize the wonder surrounding the real meaning of consciousness. I’m willing to pursue the “impossible dream” for health in California – and so should you.