OP-ED: Improve Individual Health by  Strengthening Communities

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By Gerard A. Turner

 

In any society there are few things as powerful as community. Even for those elements who would seek to control a community, there is no foothold without the consent, knowing or unknowing, of the community at hand.

 

In the current social climate this fact becomes more apparent than ever. Though where health is concerned, we are beginning to actualize our goals of healthier and more informed communities around the country.

 

Our beautiful First Lady has inspired us with her efforts to get more of our youth in an active mode of living over the past eight years and away from those things that stagnate our children such as social media and video games.

 

Our elders can benefit from such a position in life as we see more and more programs dedicated to keeping them active in their later years of life.

 

As individuals, we can make a significant contribution to the furtherance of healthy communities. We need to do our part to get our children and senior citizens involved in more activities offered by health care organizations throughout our cities.

 

Let’s begin in our homes, starting with ourselves and family members. Volunteering at retirement and recreation centers is one of the most personally rewarding ways to contribute to the health of our communities.

 

Certainly one can appreciate and even draw inspiration from those who have carved out time to make a difference in the lives of others. We must remember that when we do for others, we truly do for ourselves also.

 

This is the gift of community to the overall wellbeing of its people, young and old, rich or poor. This is a journey well worth taking in the quest for healthier communities.

 

Let us utilize the time we are blessed with to make a difference in the lives of others and become examples to society sorely in need of unity and love.

 

Gerard A. Turner is health & wellness correspondent the James A. Watson Wellness Center, 5709 Market St. in Oakland.

 

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