I went walking with my dogs yesterday. I often walk along a route called the 'comber greenway' . This is an old disused railway track which has been made into a pathway. There are steep grass banks on either side and the only view to the distance is forwards towards the winding track as it disappears like a ribbon into the distance.
Yesterday was a beautiful warm autumn morning. Absolutely still. Fallen leaves lay unmoved on the ground and the sunlight cut sharp long shadows across the ground.
Most dramatic of all however was the silence. It was so quiet that I became aware of the sound of my own breath and the flicking of my shoe laces with each step. I also became aware of how rare this experience is. How often is the loudest sound we hear our own breath? Not often enough!
This morning I hear on the news that the government is considering the possibility of paying people to lose weight and quit smoking in order to save the health service money in the long run.
I must say this saddens me. Not just because I am not convinced that it WOULD save money ( consider the cost of monitoring the system not to mention the abuse and deception it may be open to ) but because it seems so sad that here we are considering giving money to people to adjust a lifestyle born of a greed driven society when across the world children die by the second from starvation.
I do sympathise with those who have lost control due to addiction but I'm not sure that simply paying them will change the fundamental issues in their lives which created the addiction to food or nicotine. I do also appreciate how much it is costing society to deal with wieght related health issues. I just wonder if the desire to save government funds is itself slighty selfish. If this country did save money by getting people to stop smoking and lose weight..where would that money go?..would it really go back into the health service..? I have my doubts. I dont trust most givernments.
I wonder would it be an idea to pay for overweight smokers to go to third world countries for a year and work with the people there. This would not only help their health ( certainly avoid fatty diets) at the same time contribute to those who have little or no food. Most of all it may provide an eye opening experience which might help put our greedy society into context.
It may seem an unusual or extreme suggestion but it may be a way of helping both groups of people.