Not many people stop to think about why or even what influences what they do. For many, life is a stream and they are caught up in that stream. Water as a metaphor for life's course is popular in Eastern cultures. Taoism is an example of this, and the philosophy of "going with the flow" suggests that the forces of the universe are such that one is best served by not trying to avoid them.
These forces can also be viewed as context, the larger "story line" that sets the stage for a given action. Sometimes, seemingly remote factors can influence not only actions, but activities over time. This morning, I was thinking about how health care policies can influence how people live their lives. The dialogue in America will soon turn more earnestly toward reform of our system. Although in my view this is long overdue, my reasons for saying this have to do with the topic of this blog. Our "non-system" of health care and the rules and expenses associated with it, create an obstacle course of adverse influences on life, not only dictating how people earn their living by staying at jobs they hate because of the need to retain their health insurance, but also causing countless bankruptcies, house sales, and family disruptions when the adversity of serious illness visits a family.
This is the side of the health care debate that is too often overlooked. It is the hidden cost of creating circumstances where people cannot "do life well" because a country has been unable to come to grips with one of the central needs in creating community. As the Irish expression goes, "The people live in the shelter of each other." Countries with universal health care and single payer systems understand this.
Surely, readers have stories illustrating this issue, not health care policy per se, but how this factor influences the decisions people make about what they do. Please share your stories here, whether they pertain to health care influences on life choices, or other types of public policy and how these alter the life course.
DLW is an occasional blog about how people spend the time of their lives (every moment) to enable health, balance, meaning and fulfillment. As a blogspot about doing, it draws from personal stories and from studies of everyday living. It's main idea is that to be well, people must be involved fully in what they do. The activities that occupy our days help to connect us to the world, define who we are, and keep us healthy.
Great Links About What, How, Why, Where and How Often People Do Things
- Calculate your Life Expectancy
- O*Net - A terrific resource to get information about work related occupations
- Wisdom—A must see project of shared experience
- Brian R Little- About Personal Projects
- Authentic Happiness - Take the Work-Life Questionnaire
- wdydwdyd? (Why do you do what you do?)
- Calculate your weekly Time Use
- Bureau of Labor Statistics -American Time Use Survey
- ► February (7)
Interesting Books about Doing and Not Doing
- Bateson, Mary Catherine—Composing a Life
- Bruner, Jerome—Acts of Meaning: Four Lectures On Mind and Culture
- Christiansen, Charles & Townsend, Elizabeth—Introduction to Occupation: The Art and Science of Living
- Csíkszentmihályi, Mihaly— Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
- Diener, Ed, & Biswas-Diener, Robert—Happiness: Unlocking the Mysteries of Psychological Wealth.
- Edgell, Stephen—The Sociology of Work: Continuity and Change in Paid and Unpaid Work
- Gini, Al—The Importance of Being Lazy: In Praise of Play, Leisure and Vacations
- Kabat-Zinn, Jon—Whereever You Go, There You Are
- Little, Brian; Salmela-Aro, Katerina; and Phillips, Susan D. — Personal Projects Analysis: Goals, Actions and Human Flourishing
- Matuska, K & Christiansen, C. — Life Balance -Multidisciplinary Theories and Research
- McAdams, Dan P. —The Stories We Live By: Personal Myths and the Making of the Self
- Robinson, John & Godbey, Geoffrey — Time for Life: The Surprising Ways Americans Use Their Time
- Seligman, Martin—Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment
- Tolle, Eckhart—The Power of Now