"Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." World Health Organization, 1948
"Although physical health is important to well-being, humans also need mental health, which starts with the absence of mental illness, but also includes such concepts as freedom from fear of personal harm, freedom from fear about not meeting basic needs (food, water, shelter, safety), and so on. In addition, we are social creatures and require a sense of community; stimulating, trusting, and regular interactions with others, plus a sense of usefulness, satisfaction, and security in what we do and how we live our lives as members of groups. Without all three kinds of well-being--physical, mental, and social--we are not healthy." Cindy Parker and Brian Swartz, Human Health And Well-Being In An Era Of Energy Scarcity And Climate Change
The above quoted article is in The Post Carbon Reader. I am struck once again by the notion that regardless of what happens socially, economically, or environmentally in the world in the coming years or decades, we don't have this kind of health in our lives. American culture has moved further away from strong community support and from any sense of confidence about our ability to meet our needs in the future. From a position of intentional community, we can gain a more complete version of health in our lives and face our future from a position of personal and group strength rather than constant uncertainty. I would include spiritual along with physical, mental, and social health and I believe community tends toward a stronger more stable spiritual condition.
To those of you who are following this, I appreciate your interest. You can help me know what folks are interested in hearing and what direction to go with a little feedback. It also lets me know that someone is out there. So let's start a little community interaction here on the blog. I would sure be interested in hearing from you. Also, if you think what we're talking about here is worth the time, share it to others.