Wellness is a positive approach. Wellness traditionally focused on wellbeing and all manner of strategies, personal and cultural, for encouraging behaviors that enriched quality of life for oneself and others.
The wellness focus on becoming healthier in no way reflected a lack of regard or respect for the importance of preventing and treating illnesses, modifying risks and eliminating hazards. The proactive emphasis upon self-responsibility for one’s health and life situation, physical fitness, sound nutrition, stress management and environmental sensitivity is a lifestyle strategy that complements the health or medical system, not a substitute for quality care and actions to protect the Commons, the world beyond oneself.
Wellness in general has evolved since the 1950’s and 60’s when Halbert L. Dunn advanced (high level) wellness, as has my own work beginning in the mid-70’s to the present day. My REAL wellness model of wellness is larger in scope than what was described in High Level Wellness: An Alternative to Doctors, Drugs and Disease (Rodale Press, 1977). In recent decades, my descriptions of the wellness concept (in lectures, newsletters and a dozen new books) have emphasized reason, exuberance, athleticism (exercise and nutrition) and liberty, which I call REAL wellness.
Even with the expansion from the original five dimensions (self responsibility, fitness, nutrition, stress management and environmental responsibility) to the four dimensions of R-E-A-L wellness, the positive focus on boosting quality of life remains the core of the concept. Always, the focus has been “becoming weller.” Others can, will and are dealing with perturbations galore, from disasters, crime, war magnolia wellness and peace and so on – although I will admit to dabbling regularly in my three favorite topics – politics, religion and sex – though not necessarily in that order.
But, the national situation in America is such that, to paraphrase a sexist phrase coined by Charles E. Weller in 1918 and used throughout the 20th century as a typing class assignment, now is the time for all good (REAL wellness-devoted) men to come to the aid of the party. The party is our country; the aid needed is to fight like hell for strict gun control. Gun control is a REAL wellness issue!
The Ghastly Stain on America’s Honor, Safety and Decency: Gun Madness
There is nothing positive about the gun mania that exists in America. There is, however, much that is grotesque, such as the wanton slaughter of innocents in schools and elsewhere. The fact that military weapons designed for battlefields are legal, available and easily obtained by just about anyone endangers everybody, particularly children, law enforcement personnel and others who assemble in public places (e.g., concerts, night clubs, schools, malls, shopping centers and streets.
The problem of gun violence cannot be solved unless Americans rise up and eliminate the underlying enablers, over time, with a five-step coordinated national campaign:
- Decimate the Republican Party at the ballot box.
- Pass all manner of stop-gap measures to at least mitigate the toll of gun madness.
- Institute proceedings leading to the repeal of the Second Amendment.
- Bring legal actions and others pressures to bear on the most dangerous organization in America, the National Rifle Association (NRA) in an effort to eliminate this cancer on society.
- Create a national registry of guns, that is, identify who owns what and where the guns are located. At present, the NRAs indentured servants in state and national governments have allowed no such thing.
The National Firearms Act forbids any system of registration of firearms, firearms owners, or firearms transactions or dispositions, despite the fact that there are between 8.5 million and 15 million assault rifles in circulation (based on available manufacturing data).