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PUtnam: The straight path leads to good health – Longview News

Are you aware that having morals, ethics and good character contribute to your overall health? Well, I am assuming that all of you learned the meaning of those three words from your parents, grandparents or the individual that cared for you throughout your adolescent years.

Merriam Webster tells us that moral is of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior; ethical moral judgments; ethic as plural in form but singular or plural in construction: the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation and character as one of the attributes or features that make up and distinguish an individual.

I personally feel that people know deep down know what is right and what is wrong. I know that living an immoral, unethical life and letting that distinguish our character causes health issues over time. Just think about the five areas of health: mental, physical, social, emotional and spiritual. Don’t you think that if you are unethical, immoral or have bad character that it would affect all of those areas of your health?

Robert A. Giacalone with the John Carroll University states that the literature on organizational injustice links unethical behavior to well-being. Repeated episodes of procedural, distributive, and interactional injustices can trigger stress that is linked to increased morbidity and mortality (Geronimus, 1992). Injustice has been connected to coronary heart disease (Kivimäki et al., 2005), sleep disorders (Elovainio et al., 2003), and sickness-related absenteeism (Elovainio, Kivimäki, and Vahtera, 2002). Notably, some research indicates that perpetrators can be harmed by their own actions. Some individuals may behave unethically yet be uncomfortable with what they have done; perhaps the social and professional pressures they face to behave wrongly are too strong to resist, yet the cognitive dissonance remains (Evans et al., 2007). In the face of such pressures, some individuals willfully violate their own moral standards. Then, stressed by personal guilt, fear of being caught, or anxiety about the shame they may face, people may experience harm to their well-being (Byrne, 2003).

I do know that we are human and we cannot always live the perfect life and do right all of the time. I mean mistakes build character? But continually making unethical decisions can cause deterioration in health for the individual and others who are aware of the behavior.

I borrowed a book from a friend a few weeks ago and when I have a moment at night or in the morning I read a few pages. I wish that I had time to get in my hammock and read the entire book. The author is Dr. Wayne Dyer and the name of the book is “Real Magic.” It has 323 pages and I am only on page 71, but understand that Dr. Dyer finally grasped spiritual versus non-spiritual and this is what he calls Real Magic. There is a section in his book where he compares spiritual versus non[spiritual.

“The non-spiritual being is motivated by achievement, performance and acquisitions. The spiritual being is motivated by ethics, serenity and quality of life,” the book says.

In another section of the book, he states “to conduct yourself on a spiritual plane, begin living one day at a time emphasizing ethics rather than rules. Inventory all of the rules that you follow so emphatically. Rather than conducting your life accordingly to someone else’s rules, try having an ethics day for yourself. Base all of your behavior — including your eating, dressing, working, home-life — everything that you do on that day-on ethics rather than rules. Ask yourself, what is the moral, purposeful, loving thing to do, not what the rules are. In this way, you will shift your consciousness away from outcome and toward purpose.”

How can we enhance our health in this area? We can start today by forgiving ourselves and making ethical and moral decisions. Dr. Dyer also quotes several spiritual masters forgiveness:

• Judaism: The most beautiful thing a man can do is to forgive wrong.

• Christianity: Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.”

• Islam: Forgive thy servant seventy times a day.

• Sikhism: Where there is forgiveness, there is God himself.

• Taoism: Recompense injury with kindness.

• Buddhism: Never is hate diminished by hatred: it is only diminished by love-This is an eternal law.

As for me, I am a Christian and believe that to strive to live a moral, ethical life expressing good character, we should forgive ourselves and forgive others. That we should learn from our mistakes and make good choices. I can assure you that when you conduct yourself like this, you will contribute to your overall health and enhance all five areas.

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