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Marsh column: My, what a crazy year this has been

We can all agree that 2020 is and has been the craziest year ever.

We just went back one hour, had Halloween and a blue moon!

I hope it does not get any crazier than it already has been. And to top it off, we are a few days away from the election. The reason I am bringing this up because health is not only a healthy body, it is also a healthy spirit and mind. What has really saddened me is that instead of pulling together in the current pandemic, we have been driven apart, and not just due to social distancing.

When we look at the current situation, we see people at far ends of the spectrum. You would think that would be OK since we live in a democratic country. But what I see instead is that there is a lot of anger — anger because someone doesn’t feel the same about the pandemic, anger because our country is on the verge of an election, anger because life has changed so much since COVID19 came onto the scene and anger due to racial injustice.

I like to believe we live in a country where we can still agree to disagree, where we can choose who we want to vote for and we can do things just because we care for others around us.

Health is not just a healthy body; it is having a healthy mind. Know that you can make a difference by standing up for what you believe in if you do it in a way that makes people want to understand you, maybe even follow you but not hate you.

Health is also a healthy spirit where you and your family and friends can feel 100% comfortable with each other no matter what your views are.

You can have a healthy body but if you poison your body with hate and despair, negative health issues will absolutely arise. High blood pressure, sleepless nights, anxiety, depression, fear and anger all have a negative result on your health. Let’s spread kindness, respect and understanding.

It all starts with us. We absolutely can make a difference! Do you want to move forward being that person who shares hate, disrespect, unfriendliness?

When I listen to the views on the pandemic, the election and lives matter, in the end we truly all want the same thing. So as a part of healthy living, my challenge to you is to embrace someone who thinks, feels and acts different from you. Find out their story and why they feel that way.

Be kind to one another even if you think differently about whatever subject it may be.

Have great discussions and respect each other’s beliefs.

Just think, if everyone  would respect each other’s thoughts, their values and beliefs, wouldn’t that nurture not only a healthy body but also spirit and mind … and society? Especially if we’re kind to each other and spread love.

But it all starts with us. And yes, we can make a difference!

Ester Hoeben Marsh is Health and Fitness Director of the JF Hurley Family YMCA.

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