“A man either lives life as it happens to him, meets it head-on and licks it, or he turns his back on it and starts to wither away.”
-Dr. Boyce, “The Menagerie,” (“The Cage”)
I heard about a man retiring from a factory, he had worked for 70+ years. Everyone was excited for him, but when asked, “are you ready to retire?” he replied, “no, I’m afraid that if I retire I will start to die.” You see, he had worked for so long, a life of ease sounded like a death sentence, and quite honestly, without hobbies and other things to do, the body would undergo quite a shock.
The health of a person involves so much more than we realize. Too much of anything can be deadly, too little of something can be just as hazardous. We must always be well balanced in diet and exercise. And then there is our mental health. Though eating right and keeping fit helps our minds, we need to face challenges…to face life. It is as Dr. Boyce said, we must live life as it happens to us, or wither away.
Many mental illnesses develop from a denial or refusal to accept/face circumstances. (I’m not saying this is the reason behind all cases) But it isn’t hard to see that any problem left unattended will grow into a larger problem. Denial, fear, anger….if not dealt with at hand can progress and very possibly consume us. The mind has both the ability to face a problem and to avoid it-though at considerable cost. The choices of the mind very much affect the health of the body. That is why it is common to find mental illnesses accompanied by body ailments such as chronic pain, immune deficiencies, asthma, and even cancer.
So, I believe this quote is true, though we may think at the time we are protecting ourselves when we avoid or “turn our backs” on life, we are really making life more difficult long term. It can be compared to this image; going with the flow of a stream, or fighting against the current. Eventually, you exhaust yourself fighting and end up swept away. More tired and worn then if you would have followed the stream, to begin with.
What are your thoughts on this quote?