May 14, 1984
Good health is closely related, of course, to a family’s belief about the body. If parents believe that a body is somehow an inferior vehicle for the spirit, or if they simply view the body as unreliable or weak and vulnerable, then children will at an early age begin to consider good health as a rarity, and learn to take depression, poor spirits, and bodily aches and pains to be a natural, normal condition of life.
If, on the other hand, parents view the body as a healthy, dependable vehicle of expression and feeling, then their children will look at their own bodies in the same fashion. It is very important that parents express a fond affection toward each other, and toward their children. In this way, most children are assured of their parent’s love, and hence need not resort to illness as a way of gaining attention or testing a parent’s love and devotion.
There is no natural reason for children to feel a sense of shame concerning any bodily part. No portion of the body should be spoken about in secret, hushed tones. Each child should be told that his body, or her body, is a precious private possession, however, so that it is easy to build up a desirable feeling of bodily privacy, without any hint of shame or guilt.
It goes without saying that parents should hold the bodies of their male and female children in equal favor, so that one is not considered inferior to the other. Each child should be educated as early as possible by their parents, so that the youngsters are repeatedly reminded of the body’s natural resources and healing abilities.
Parents who are actually quite worried about their children’s susceptibility to illness often go overboard, stressing all kinds of sports and sports-related projects, but the children sense their parents’ unspoken fears, and they try to reassure their parents through achieving high goals or merit in sports programs.
There is no area of thought or belief that does not touch upon the subject of health in one way or another. Therefore, throughout this book we will be devoted to many ideas that may at first seem unrelated to the topic at hand.