The Meaning of Good Health
Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is an “uneven condition of the body, resulting in diminished ability to withstand bodily injury or disease” and is an absence of contagious disease. A variety of other definitions have also been used over the years for various purposes. Essential to our understanding of what constitutes health is our ability to distinguish between what is normal and what is unhealthy.
The definition of healthy human health is dependent on the view of each person as it relates to that definition and the function that disease plays in their lives. Healthy human health is a concept that includes mental health, physical health, and emotional health. Mental health refers to one’s capacity for thought and reason; one’s capacity for learning and culture, and to one’s capacity for love, art and music. All these concepts are interconnected and form part of what is known as the human experience or “lived experience”.
When disease is present in the human community it becomes a part of the lived experience and there is a loss of one’s ability to manage disease. For those who experience illness, it becomes a source of distress and a source of pain. When the presence of disease is absent from the human community, there is no loss of a person’s ability to manage pain and suffering or to reason and to think. This absence creates a vacuum that allows disease to creep in and becomes part of the “lived experience”.