The Meaning of Health

Health is a hard one to pin down. I knew what it was before investigating it; and now that I have, it’s elusive. Art is like that, love, fulfillment, music, and happiness too. We all know what they mean until we try to put a finger on it.

Health comes from hale, which means “wholeness, being whole, sound or well”. Hail comes from a really old word—kailo—meaning “uninjured or whole”.

The World Health Organization (WHO), in 1948, said, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

In 1986 WHO added, “Health is a resource of everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities.”

I wonder what a molecular chemist would describe health as? Or an end-stage cancer patient? A destitute and alone adolescent? It would be interesting and touching to get these perspectives. Maybe the definition is personal and always based on the context of our lives?

I think of health as an idea; a concept that is supposed to be layered and mean many things. Health is comfort, it is ability, it is vigour, it is being able to do what one likes to do, it is balance, integration, and strength. It is safety, happiness, fun, and freedom. It is a good thing that is worth having, worth seeking, and worth improving.

A Health Centre then, what is that?... Please come by and see our answer.