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It’s time for us to grow up: Our health

Casey Thomas | 3/17/2014, 9:45 a.m.
“When I was a child, I thought as a child, I spoke as a child, I acted as a child. ...
Casey Thomas

The Dallas Examiner

– Part I –

“When I was a child, I thought as a child, I spoke as a child, I acted as a child. But when I grew up I put away childish things.” – First Corinthians 13:11

The Apostle Paul delivered a message to the church in Corinth that there comes a time when you have to act your age and grow up. Well, it’s time for us to have the same conversation in our community. We are almost a 150 years removed from slavery, but many of us still live with a slave mentality. We are still eating like slaves, living likes slaves, working like slaves and most importantly, thinking like slaves.

While we have a president who has put his presidency on the line to see that all Americans have the right to get affordable health care, many of us are not making healthy choices. The best way to stay healthy is to use preventive methods to avoid going to the doctor. We know that a healthy diet consists of fruits and vegetables at every meal. However, many of us only eat fruits and vegetables when we go out to eat at a restaurant and we see them in the serving line.

We are still making a meal from the scraps that were left from the slavemaster’s table. Oftentimes, our menu includes more of the leftovers from the pig or the cow than the cow itself. We have to begin to take advantage of the variety of healthy options that are available to us. We are not limited to the grocery store that is in our neighborhood. We may have to drive north to a Whole Foods store that has fresh fruits and vegetables until we demand a Whole Foods in our neighborhood. We have to show through a change in our lifestyle that we want to eat and live healthy.

If we were to look at every health-related category, African Americans are at the bottom. We have the highest number of people with diabetes. We lead when it comes to high blood pressure and hypertension. We are also the leading group when it comes to new HIV/AIDS cases! We have to grow up and realize that it is up to us to change this condition. We need to start eating better, exercising on a consistent basis, and changing our lifestyle when it comes to our eating habits.

I commend first lady Michelle Obama for her “Let’s Move” Campaign. Even though it was designed to address childhood obesity, it has caused adults to also get moving. Our kids have to put down their technology devices and get outside of the house and play childhood games like I did when I was growing up. We as parents have to put them outside and provide them with bicycles and teach them how to play tag and other games that will get them moving.

I also would like to commend Michael Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College, for taking the initiative to reconstruct the school football field into a farm on campus. This not only will provide that community healthy food choices but it can serve as a means of raising funds by selling produce to local grocery stores. However, if the neighbors in that community don’t take advantage of this, it will be an opportunity lost.

The health care industry is a multibillion dollar industry. As the baby boomers continue to age, there is going to be a need for more funding to provide care for the remainder of their lives. We know that Black men on average are not living past 65 years of age. This is due to how we eat and live, not even considering the Black-on-Black male murder rate. We cannot afford to continue to live like this.

My next topic will be about our need to grow up as it relates to our children’s education. You don’t want to miss it!