I learned from the linked article in the Washington Post that Harold Kushner, a rabbi whose books brought solace to millions, died at 88. He was a hero of mine. I have read most of his over a dozen books and found them all helpful. I was especially touched by his most famous Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People.” It meant a lot to me as I recovered from a near-fatal car accident in 1984 that killed the driver and the other 2 passengers in the car. I have re-read that book many times, each time learning more. His books helped me contemplate meaning and purpose.
Although the book became a bestseller, the obituary stated that Kushner wrote the book to “redeem my son’s death from meaninglessness” and to try to understand why the world is not fair. His son died as a teenager from progeria, the rapid aging disease. As he contemplated the bad things that happened to him, his conclusions were another example of an undoing of tradition. Kahneman and Tversky’s extensive scientific work demonstrated breakthroughs generally break with traditional practice. Michael Lewis reviewed their work in his book, “The Undoing Project,” and I discussed their work in my “Undoing” Needed to Create Better!” post.
Rabbi broke with traditions by giving up the belief that God was good, but not all-powerful. As he explained,
…“If I, walking through the wards of a hospital, have to face the fact that either God is all-powerful but not kind, or thoroughly kind and loving but not totally powerful, I would rather compromise God’s power and affirm his love,” Rabbi Kushner once told NPR.
…“The theological conclusion I came to is that God could have been all-powerful at the beginning, but he chose to designate two areas of life off-limits to his power,” he continued. “He would not arbitrarily interfere with laws of nature, and secondly, God would not take away our freedom to choose between good and evil.”
Below is a short video summary of “When Bad Things Happen to Good People:”
I hope this helps in your search for meaning and purpose. If you have not read his book, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People,” I strongly recommend you do. It is a short book, just over 100 pages, but very powerful. It helped lay the foundation for how I work to create meaning and purpose in my life. I do this by working to generate comprehensive benefits by creating regenerative, net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Please share how you generate meaning and purpose in your life.
In simple terms, we should just add good because it gets to what we want faster. It also helps earn the good feelings generated. If we attempt to stop certain things, human nature automatically finds reasons to defend a previous action. As Wendy Wood, PhD documents in her research and outlines in her book, Good Habits, Bad Habits: The Science of Making Positive Changes That Stick, anything we do we defend and assume it must be helpful. If it wasn’t, why would we do it? I review more about her book at What We Do Without Thinking.
Additionally, simply stopping what we shouldn’t do only takes away harm without doing any action that could generate good outcomes. Doing good things enables good outcomes as it simultaneously crowds out bad actions. This is why I Practice Paneugenesis to generate comprehensive improvements by creating regenerative, net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Please share how you add more good!
We all know about and produce #2, yes the smelly kind. Now entrepreneurs are using it to practice paneugenesis by generating comprehensive improvements. As noted by Apple News:
This tech recycles toilet water in Silicon Valley high-rises Within a few weeks, when someone flushes a toilet in one of San Francisco’s new high-rises, the water won’t drain into the local sewer system. Instead, it will flow into a recently installed machine in the basement, designed to treat the water on-site. After the machine is turned on next month, recycled water will travel back up special pipes so it can be used for the next flush. The solid waste—that is, poop—is treated separately and becomes a product to add to garden soil.
Aaron Tartakovsky, CEO of Epic CleanTec, is taking what most of us see as waste and not only reusing it again, they are using the nutrients to grow healthy soil that can then grow healthier plants. Healthier plants mean we can be healthier. Without question, these solutions are generating comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions with water to benefit everyone and everything.
Are you using EPIC Clean Tec where you live? If you are, please share your experience. We look forward to hearing from you.
Are you like me? Do you like to have a snack at night? I now have a better option than my previous cereal or plant-based ice cream choices. Chia Pudding is my new fantastic night-time snack! It tastes great, is plant-strong, is high in fiber, and helps me feel good.
There are many easy ways to prepare Chia Pudding. The easiest is to mix chia seeds with plant milk. See the video below for more specific instructions.
As noted, putting it in the refrigerator overnight is best. Many optional recipes are available on the Internet, TikTok, and Pinterest to help you discover what you like best. We use the recipe below to make a larger portion. This way we have snacks for a few days.
Chia Pudding is my new great-tasting net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interaction I use to benefit everyone and everything. In other words, eating Chia Pudding as a snack is one of the new ways I Practice Paneugenesis to improve my life while also generating comprehensive improvements. Please share in the comments your favorite recipe for Chia Pudding.
Most of us promote ideas and attempt to transform people toward better methods. While it seems we must get all to agree or help those least interested in change, a more straightforward approach is recommended. We should help those interested, not those predisposed to be obstinate. This distinction is essential and is what I teach my students when encouraging healthy behaviors. It is important to work with those interested because:
Working with those who are not interested is exhausting.
Only a few need to change to bring about widespread change.
Critical mass is defined as the minimum amount of fissile material needed to maintain a nuclear chain reaction. However, as discussed by Everett Rogers in Diffusion of Innovations, a critical mass is the minimum size or amount of something required to start or maintain a movement. The size of a critical mass to start movement has been shown to be quite small.
That means if the organization has 100 people, only 10 people need to be followers. If the group is 3000, only 55, and if it is 30,000, only 173 people need to be converted to start a movement. Understanding this, enables us to realize change can happen. This also highlights why Myron Tribus advised we should:
“Preach to the masses, work with volunteers.”
What does this mean?
This means change can happen, and we don’t have to change everyone, at least at first. A small critical mass will bring about widespread change. Although we still should promote to all, we should focus on the most receptive to generate comprehensive improvements, not those that require vast resources because they are uninterested. Getting a small critical mass started can start a movement, and improvements will evolve from interested people that create net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.
I hope this video inspired you to create meaning in your life. I do this by working to generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Please share what this video motivated you to do. Thank you.
I am reading Austin Kleon’s short book, “Show Your Work.” His book recommends a daily dispatch that shows your work and documents progress. For years, I have been developing techniques, strategies, and practices to generate more good, not just less bad. I need to do more, so I am adopting his strategy of posting regular work dispatches. Here is an overview of my progress to date.
More Good Progress…so far
I have been working on this task for over 30 years. My mission is to emphasize more good focus for the long term. Less bad is essential in short-term, acute situations. I have yet to hear that people disagree with this effort, but the idea has not diffused or circulated as needed. The focus on less bad or less pathology dominates our world. Therefore, I will use Austin Kleon’s advice and post my work to hold myself accountable.
During my efforts to date, I have been working as a professor since 2001 and have a Ph.D. from Arizona State University. I have about 100 national and international publications and presentations about how to create or cause good health, which, as research has also demonstrated, effectively prevents or ends bad health…as a by-product. This work is summarized in the linked publication about the paneugenesis model, “Going on Offense to Promote Health Promotion Gains.” Additionally, the linked 2019 article by colleague Dr. Michael Stellefson discusses this idea by categorizing these efforts as a promotion of “Chronic Wellness.” For more, see the article, Planting a Tree Model for Public Health: Shifting the Paradigm Toward Chronic Wellness
If you are interested and have time, below are some links to presentations, papers, and online resources to my work. The best way to learn about my work is the 17-minute linked presentation, Create More Good, Not Just Less Bad. I gave this talk to the sustainability committee at East Carolina University (ECU).
If you are interested in learning more about these scales, I linked an article validating my positive health scale, “Validity Evidence for the Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS).” I have also linked an article about how focusing on generating more good helped us understand what helps students thrive. The study used the SWPS to measure the process, and what we learned about the student’s lifestyle process and it relates to doing well is described in the”What Helps Students Thrive” article.
Unfortunately, I have not made desired progress in transforming society toward more good, not just less bad. However, I will forge ahead, and I hope you will help. My current efforts focus on disseminating these positive health ideas and practices and assisting people in adopting these practices. I will use the Diffusion of Innovations Theory to guide my future work. I hope to publish a related article soon.
Please share any advice and contact me if you want to help at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, 252-328-5312, or on this blog. I look forward to hearing from you about how we can work together to generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.
… A preventive innovation is an idea that an idnividual adopts at one point in time in order to lower the probablity that some future unwanted event may occur. The unwanted future event might not have happened anyway, even without adoption of the preventive innovation, so the relative advantage is not very clear cut to the individual at the time they are urged to adopt by public health programs. Also the prevented events do not occur, and thuse they cannot be observed or counted…For these reasons, preventive innovations…have a relatively slow rate of adoption.”
Everett Rogers, PhD – p. 69 “Diffusion of Inovations” 5th Ed.
What do you think? Do you agree this provides a good foundation for why the focus should be on more good, not JUST less bad? Please share your thoughts on the best ways to move forward. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.
Vic Strecher, who wrote “Life on Purpose” and “On Purpose” also regularly publishes Purposeful tips. For 2023 he sent a great New Year’s Message. I want to promote his message about taking action to make good things happen.
“His Recommendation – frame messages as something positive to do, not something to avoid or something you will not do. Not taking action does not make good things happen; it may only possibly stop bad things from happening. Our life is about what we do because doing good things can””crowd out” bad things; as noted in previous posts, “His Recommendation – frame messages as something positive to do, not something to avoid or something you will not do. Not taking action does not make good things happen; it may only possibly stop bad things from happening. Our life is about what we do because doing good things can “crowd out” bad things, as noted in previous posts,
For the New Year 2023, focus on what you will do, not what you will avoid. I focus on creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone benefits. Doing this is the best way I know to generate comprehensive improvements. Please share how you make 2023 and beyond even better.
I was honored that Sydnii Robinson Co-authored this post with me. Thank you, Sydnii.
Complaining begets more complaints. Anger begets more anger. And optimism begets more optimism.
As Simon Sinek suggests, what we do creates more of what we have done. In other words, “Good begets Good”. Evidence suggests that if we work to become the best version of ourselves possible, this will generate good for all. This runs counter to many of our efforts. It seems we are always trying to solve problems. For instance, we want to “End violence,”; “Stop Inactivity,”; or “Stop eating Fat”. While these actions may be morally correct, they do not create what we want.
Ending violence cannot give us what we want, love and caring. Love and caring, however, have the potential to “crowd out” violence as it creates the reality we desire. Stopping what shouldn’t be done does not and cannot cause what can be done. It may provide room to do the right thing, but doing the right thing takes courageous effort and action. For example, we cannot end procrastination unless we do something.
As a personal example, I have had back trouble every 6 months or so. Then we finally realized my legs are different sizes, only a 1 cm difference. This slight difference altered my walk and caused severe back and hip pain. It is all connected.
When I first got the small lift for my shoe, it felt like I had someone else’s legs – they felt strange and uncoordinated. Not doing anything, of course, would mean it would continue to feel strange. However, with walking and attempts at running, my legs are beginning to feel normal again. As noted by Deming’s Appreciation for a System, General Equilibrium Theory,Risk Homeostasis Theory, Zoobiquity, and so much more, when we change anything, we change everything. As John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club, noted:
“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it is attached to the rest of the world.”
John Muir. All things in the universe are interrelated.
I believed ending bad cannot cause good. However, after I saw Seaspiracy, I thought there was an exception. The recommendation in Seaspiracy is “…to stop eating fish” to end ocean fishing. The logic seems sound. If we stop eating fish, the demand for fish will stop. After demand decreases, because it is a connected system, the lack of demand will end ocean animal agriculture. However, upon reflection, that was too simple. Either way, I strongly recommend you watch Seaspiracy if you have not seen it yet (the trailer is below – it is on Netflix).
To me, one of the most fascinating and enlightening facts in the movie was the role fish and their excrement play in managing both carbon and the health of coral reefs. We have heard warming is hurting the coral, but we haven’t heard that healthy coral reefs require more fish, and the bonus is that more fish also will capture and store more carbon as they enhance the health of coral reefs. Please share what you find most fascinating in the movie.
Another impactful takeaway from Seaspiracy was that deep-sea fishing, called bottom trawling, causes an estimated 3.9BILLION acres of seafloor deforestation per year. This means sea floor trawling is way more destructive than land deforestation, estimated to be 25 million acres per year. Despite its immense damage, it is not seen by satellites or by people living near it because it is underwater. It is alarming and certainly justifies the “stop eating fish” recommendation. Can some experts share their knowledge about this information and data to confirm these concerns?
It seems obvious; however, the recommendation to “stop eating fish” is too simple. As the Losada Line, Kahneman & Tversky’s Loss Aversion, and Gottmans work with marriage documents, we need more good, not just less bad to ignite action. Not only will people feel deprived, making it unlikely for the action to continue, but research also demonstrates that unless we provide people with a better alternative, doing without, such as doing without seafood, will not take hold. On top of that, the proclamation that we should not eat fish will add guilt when seafood is eaten, and this will lower life quality of life.
What do we do?
To do something that can make a difference in this interconnected world, take action to become the best version of yourself by eating whole plant foods. As noted in the movie by James Cameron, Game Changers, plant based nutrition is the necessary ingredient for athletes and people to perform and think their best. The action recommended to be our best in Game Changes means we don’t eat fish.
In other words, eating plant based nutrition to become the best version of ourselves is also what will be best for the world and will also help solve the problem of animal agriculture.
Brad Lancaster provides a great example of how to do good that begets more good as a “Water Harvester”. I encourage you to watch as he shows how doing good begets more good.
I also recommend you watch Eating Our Way to Extinction. It does a good job of documenting our situation and supports actions we can take to help us become the best version of ourselves. The actions recommended in this movie will also benefit everyone and everything.
I live to make my life as good as possible, and doing so helps me become a better version of myself. What I find rewarding is that my actions to improve myself generate comprehensive improvements. These improvements also lead to net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions from which everyone and everything benefits, which is paneugenesis or creating all good. This post shares more ways to become a better version of yourself that will also make a positive contribution. What more could we ask for?
Please share how you make your contribution so we can learn from your actions, and also share how you integrate this idea into your life. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.
Hurricane “Ian” ravaged Florida and the east coast in September 2022. Some were fatally trapped because they stayed in their houses when the storm hit land. Although most would “trust” weather forecasts, they could not “verify” it would be that bad until it was too late. That is often the issue. Timing delays our ability to “verify”.
“Trust but verify” became famous, according to Wikipedia, when Ronald Reagan used it during nuclear disarmament talks with the Soviet Union. Ironically, at least according to Wikipedia, it s a Russian Proverb. This saying has become relevant in my life, can be related to actions with hurricane Ian, and may benefit your life.
At least for me, it seems the universe can talk to me. This time it was about the Russian proverb, “Trust but verify”. Of course, it became relevant because I also read Malcolm Gladwell’s provocative 2019 book, “Talking to Strangers“.
Gladwell’s book was very enlightening (I recommend the book and summary). With research, “Talking to Strangers”, in Gladwell’s trademark neutral method, documents how we are good at understanding others when they act as expected, but bad at discerning the truth when they do not act as we think they should. He even suggests it could be because of the “Friends” effect. In the sitcom “Friends”, the actor’s emotions, expressions, and actions are all consistent and support what they will do.
In “Friends”, if they are smiling, they are happy. If they are trying to cheat or trick someone, they act suspiciously. In real life, that is not always the case. Only sometimes are we transparent such that our actions match our intentions. Gladwell explains the “Friend’s” effect to Jimmy Kimmel for about 2 minutes in the interview below. He also summarizes so much more. I strongly encourage you to listen to this 8-minute interview and read his book.
To demonstrate this conundrum, Gladwell documents other experiences in the book. One story discusses how Penn State’s University President, Graham B. Spanier, was fired for endangering children when Jerry Sandusky was found guilty of child abuse. He contrasts this to parents who were in the room when Larry Nassar abused their kids, and yet they were not thought to be negligent. Life is ambiguous…
Default to Truth
Gladwell suggests and suspects this happens because people will automatically default to the truth, or believe what is best when people act as expected. In other words, we default to “Trust”. It is hard not to, and it takes extreme risk and difficulty to go against the tide when others trust. The second part of the proverb, “Verify”, is what we should do, but it is complicated by timing and effort.
This is a proverb because we want colleagues and supervisors to think the best of us, or to Trust us. Think how horrible it would be if people automatically assumed the worst in each situation. In other words, we should “Trust”. If we didn’t trust, Gladwell seems to justifiably suggest without implicit trust, the world would be a less desirable place for us all.
Verification takes extra effort, and those steps may also cause us to discover things we do not want to know. This happened during the pandemic when people stole funds, as highlighted in this NYTimes Daily Podcast, Why Was Pandemic Fraud So Easy?
Recently, I did not adequately “Verify”. The “Friends” effect impacted me. I didn’t adequately verify people because I could not imagine why a group I was working with would not be telling the truth. Unfortunately, my “default to truth” and failure to adequately “verify” has slowed and damaged progress on plans I had to Practice Paneugenesis on a much bigger level.
Though this attempt to “Optimize the process” did not work, I am finding a better way to reach my idealized outcome so we can generate comprehensive improvements by being nudged to create pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefit.
We want to provide people with a GPS for life that will nudge them to efficiently use resources to lead a fulfilling, regenerative life that will also create regenerative communities. This BeWell’r Web will work like a forest’s mycelium in the roots of plants and trees, enabling plants to be healthier through efficiently using the forest’s resources.
This function of nature through the root network in a forest was dubbed to be the “Wood Wide Web” by “Nature”(August 1997).The “Wood Wide Web” is a communication network that shares information through its fungi with all in the forest about how to best use its resources so the forest can thrive. The video below shares the vision for our BeWell’r Web that will help create healthier people and thriving communities:
In 2014 I wrote this post, Dad Our House is on Fire!…People are Amazing! I wrote this because I was in awe of the amazing generosity we experienced after our house burned down and we lost most of our belongings. As I noted in that post, despite the awful news we hear 24/7, I believe most people are good. I also believe people want to help others. Scientifically this makes sense because it makes us feel good.
To my delight, I once again was in awe of amazing generosity of others. As I noted in 2014,
“… my belief that people are amazing has been confirmed.” Again!
My belief that people are good has been confirmed again – people are amazing! This time it was confirmed when my wife and I went Lowes to pick up some lattice for our yard.
I have a Prius which has a hatchback and almost everything fits. This time however we were about 2 inches shy of being able to get the lattice into the hatch. As we picked up the lattice to return it to the store. a gentleman, with broken English gets our attention and says, “do you need help?” We explained we did and he then offered to carry the lattice pieces in his truck to our house. People are amazing!
We loaded the lattice in the back of his truck and asked him to follow us. Of course, if you believe the news, he would have driven away with the material. He did not. He kindly brought the material to our house, helped us unload it and said he was glad to help. We offered to pay him, but he refused. People are amazing!
Overall, it was a nice, net-positive pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interaction. This is a way to practice paneugenesis because it helped generate more good, not just less bad. That act encouraged me and my wife to pay it forward, thus causing a positive pervasive ripple, as it also reinforced our belief that most people are good and kind. People are amazing!
Make it a great week by being the amazing person you know you can be. Also please share your stories of yourself or others paying it forward!
Abstract: Survey research is important for understanding health and improving practice among health professions. However, survey research can have drawbacks, such as overuse and excessively lengthy questionnaires that burden respondents. These issues lead to poor response rates and incomplete questionnaires. Low and incomplete response rates result in missing data and reduced sample size, damaging the value, usability and generalizability of the information collected. To address issues related to response rates and improve health research, shorter surveys are recommended because they impose less of a burden on respondents and are useful with larger populations. Health- related surveys also often focus on the factors leading to ill health without dedicating equal attention to factors supporting positive health. This study developed and tested a short form (SF) of the validated Salutogenic Wellness Promotion Scale (SWPS), which measures causes of health (rather than causes of disease), using responses from 2052 college students. The participants answered questions about their demographics and completed the SWPS and a perceived health assessment. Statistical tests demonstrated the SWPS-SF had significant relationships with the full SWPS, health status, and Grade Point Average (GPA). Statistical tests were also used to establish cutoff scores that had a high true positive and low false negative rate. These cutoff scores demonstrated a relationship of higher performance and better health. These promising results suggest this short test can provide valid information without burdening the respondents. Authors recommend additional tests be completed to validate the SWPS-SF.
This scale provides a helpful screen tool that can accurately assess health, that is well-being not just the absence of disease. While more testing is needed, the article noted, “This study developed a short form of the SWPS, and initial evidence suggests it can provide valuable data for participants, health professionals, and health researchers. This short, complementary tool will provide data about health-causing actions, address the pathogenic bias, and improve response rates due to its short format.” The full article can be accessed on PubMed here.
The SWPS-SF provides a quick way to screen for peoples behaviors that indicate health improvement from beneficial, physical, social, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, vocational, and environmental actions. Feedback, as can be provided to professionals and individuals, has been shown to help people improve behaviors and it provides professionals with information about how to nudge them toward better actions. The data can also be used to help design a health promoting environment.
The SWPS-SF is a tool that when used should help generate comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits. Please contact me if you have any questions. I look forward to talking with you.
The book fascinated me because it highlighted and clarified why We are Just Talking Apes and how There is Only US, There is no Them, as I attempted to suggest previously. I loved Zoobiquity because it documented how similar all living things are on earth and that “we should be looking at the overlap rather than the differences” between species due to our shared ancestry.
I was fascinated as they demonstrated how other animals also have foresight, regret, shame, guilt, love, and revenge. I thought I saw these things in our dogs, but I thought I was anthropomorphizing their behaviors. I guess I was not.
Examples of similarities in the book included how all animals, like humans, can Faint when scared. This led to a better explanation of our instincts that are generally only described as Fight or Flight. An accurate description of our reactions is “Fight, Flight, or Faint” when startled. As they documented, faking death, like when we Faint, had survival benefits and may be why it lasted through our evolution.
I thought most interesting was how they showed behaviors that many attributes to bad character, which also exist in the animal kingdom. For instance, a section describes eating disorders in the animal kingdom that mirror human eating disorders. (see Intriguing links between animal behavior and anorexia nervosa by Treasure, Janet & Owen, John) Other behaviors such as homosexuality, trans sex, and even sex between species exist in other animals, meaning they evolved for survival and are still in our DNA.
In other examples, they document the proliferation of STDs in the animal kingdom. After all, they don’t have antibiotics or any type of protection. In another similarity, they demonstrate how teenage animals act similarly to human teenagers. The similarity relates to their behaviors. As explained, adolescent brains don’t register danger as adults do, and this may be why they take what seems to be “stupid” or unwise actions. They, however, explain, “These risky behaviors can encourage encounters with threats and competitions that may hurt them but actually end up being helpful for success later in life.” They even suggest it may be more dangerous when adolescents don’t take risks than if they do. If risks are avoided, they are not prepared for life.
Overall, these many comparisons and similarities indicate that what happens are not necessarily flaws or problems of humans; it is hard-wired into us. These actions are just part of our shared DNA. Those actions, however, can also be influenced by our environment.
Sex, Drugs, &…
They also showed how animals in the wild sometimes get hooked on drugs. Who knew? They also explained that animals have varied sex drives, high or low, and some animals even use some of the same techniques to attract mates, as seen in humans. It was amazing to learn. They even suggest that an “Orgasm is not the byproduct of sex, it is the bait from erotic ancestry” that enables or supports reproduction.
There were some unpleasant things in the book. A disturbing section explained humans believed animals did not feel. This existed until fairly recently — though some still believe this, especially about fish. Humans had a false belief that animals could not feel because we could not understand how they thought. Animals react differently to pain. Some withdraw rather than vocalize it, at least that we can hear. They relate this to how many thought babies did not feel pain until the 1980s.
The author’s discussion of pleasure and then drugs was also enlightening. They explained how pleasure and rewards initiated behaviors that helped us survive, and negative emotions altered behaviors when survival was threatened. They then relate this to drugs by explaining people become addicted because drugs can falsely signal we are doing something beneficial to our fitness that helps our survival. They also provide an enlightening discussion about how this relates to and feeds addictions.
Nature or Nurture??
An insightful point they demonstrated was that it is not a Nature or Nurture answer but a dance between each. As was explained, Nature & Nurture are not a divide but an endless feedback loop of information enabling adaptation. For example, they document that animals, like humans, can get fat when there is abundant food and no predators. They also note that animals, like humans, will consume processed foods to their detriment because of the false signals created by these ultra-processed foods.
Overall, again and again, from drugs to sex, to relationships, they document how these are issues for all in the animal kingdom, not just for humans. It had a copyright of 2012. However, it is very current. The most current part was how it seems to have led to the developing of the new World Health Organizations initiative, “One Health.”
‘One Health’ is an approach to designing and implementing programmes, policies, legislation and research in which multiple sectors communicate and work together to achieve better public health outcomes.
The areas of work in which a One Health approach is particularly relevant include food safety, the control of zoonoses (diseases that can spread between animals and humans, such as flu, rabies and Rift Valley Fever), and combatting antibiotic resistance (when bacteria change after being exposed to antibiotics and become more difficult to treat)..
Many of the same microbes infect animals and humans, as they share the eco-systems they live in. Efforts by just one sector cannot prevent or eliminate the problem. For instance, rabies in humans is effectively prevented only by targeting the animal source of the virus (for example, by vaccinating dogs).
Information on influenza viruses circulating in animals is crucial to the selection of viruses for human vaccines for potential influenza pandemics. Drug-resistant microbes can be transmitted between animals and humans through direct contact between animals and humans or through contaminated food, so to effectively contain it, a well-coordinated approach in humans and in animals is required.
We can Do More
One Health is a great start. However, it seems to only focus on how to avoid, treat, or prevent problems. I believe it does not emphasize how health is created and improved.
From my reading, it became even more vital to work towards generating comprehensive improvements by creating net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and EVERYTHING benefits. All living things are connected, and the aim of all living things must be to live in a way that makes life more livable.
Natterson-Horowitz & Bowers seem to agree. In the end, they explain:
The fate of our world health doesn’t depend solely on how we humans fare, rather it will be determined by how ALL patients on the planet live, grow, get sick and heal.
Natterson-Horowitz & Bowers in “Zoobiquity”
Let’s create all good. We can’t wait for people or animals to become patients. We must proactively work to make life more livable and better for all.
Greens in the form of vegetables are good for our health
Green behavior is regenerative or at least better and can help everyone and everything
Green in form of money can be good and helpful
This post is about how all 3 of these benefits will accrue from this simple action.
Many of us eat greens as spinach, lettuce, kale, mustard greens etc. While these greens are good for us, taste good and are delicious, they do not stay fresh long. Composting old greens is better because in time they turn into useful soil, but it still wastes money.
A Better Idea
We found a more useful solution. When our greens start to go bad, we put them into the blender and then freeze them. As frozen small pieces of greens, they are easy to add to a smoothy.
We keep freezing old greens simple. When ours greens start to go bad we put the old greens in the blender with a little bit of water, if necessary, and mix. After the leaves are chopped, we place those leaves in a bag and put them in the freezer. I also put a scooper in that bag so I can easily scoop out a helping for my smoothie.
I really like doing this in the summer because I find Smoothies to be great summer snacks They are refreshing, cool and also provide a healthy serving of vegetables. If you are interested in more techniques, this page, How to Freeze Spinach, shares more options.
This simple technique provides multiple benefits:
We eat more greens by including them in our now tastier and more filling smoothies
Environmental benefits are less trips to the store and less food waste
We save money by not having to buy greens or other ingredients for smoothies
Overall, chopping and freezing greens is a great, all good way to generate comprehensive improvements. Freezing older greens creates a net-positive, pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic benefits from which everyone and everything benefits.
Please share how you generate comprehensive improvements so everyone and everything can benefit.