We live in a wonderful country, so take the time to say thank you to Australia and Australians on the 26th! You can add your comment to other messages of thanks recently posted on the official Australia Day website and on Facebook. They include thanks for:
- our beautiful land and our terrific weather
- our emergency services and volunteers – like bush fire brigades and surf lifesavers
- our ANZACs and their spirit – past and present
- farmers and superb food
- noisy laughing kookaburras that make me smile
- the chance to live without fear of persecution or prejudice
- looking out for your neighbours and lending a hand in times of need
- equal opportunity in education and employment
- freedom of choice
- having a compassionate heart like no other country
- happiness, hope, home, health care and the hills hoist
- growing happy, healthy and hopeful children.
I’m in total agreement with them all!
Elaborating on ‘freedom of choice’, thanks Australia for the ability to choose whatever type of healthcare works for me, as well as the freedom to choose whatever religion (or none) that makes sense to me and provides comfort, understanding and healing so needed in day-to-day life.
There are more than a few thank yous expressed for the great health care provided in Australia. It’s obvious …. we value good health! So, it’s not so surprising that the 2011 Census revealed that Health Care and Social Assistance is now Australia’s largest industry employing 1,167,000 of Australia’s 10 million workers nationwide (11.6% of all workers). The statistics also showed a very large increase in the Allied Health Services sector, which includes dental, physiotherapy and alternative therapies.
And we value our freedom of choice above most others liberties in Australia; the freedom to choose mainstream or alternative healthcare is at the heart of our ideals. Around 70% of Australians use alternative therapies along with mainstream healthcare.
We couldn’t abide any government dictating what healthcare we must use.
So, I was amazed to learn that a local government in Britain proposed this week to withhold welfare payments and other benefits to obese people if they fail to exercise. Interestingly, some groups in Australia would also have it so, as The Conversation pointed out in its series on Obesity last year. Alternatives, like a tax on sugary soft drinks might be a better option.
Both governments and companies are inclined for now to use incentives to help people make better health choices rather than use penalties (more carrots than sticks, you might say). And the Australian government seems open to considering a full range of options for achieving health, and what can maintain it, even to recognition of alternative means of healthcare, such as prayer, used by millions of people.
There’s a growing groundswell of agreement that the healthy state of our thoughts determines a person’s overall health and experience. Recognition of this fact is no longer an option but a must, suggests Dr Bruce Lipton, biologist and author of The Biology of Belief and Spontaneous Evolution.
I’ve shared mine and others’ ideas about the effects of healthy thoughts on our experience many times on this blog. You might like to hear it explained from another viewpoint. My colleague Ingrid Peschke puts it so well:
“…isn’t our consciousness where it all starts? The decisions one makes to be angry or not (preventing stress); the decisions one makes to overeat or not (preventing obesity); the decisions one makes to be grateful and happy (preventing forms of depression).
But how do we go about achieving healthy thoughts? For many, it’s about finding time to centre one’s thoughts through a daily habit of prayer or meditation.
For years I’ve begun my morning with prayer. Different from meditation, it’s more about centering my thoughts on God and recognizing that my thoughts are created and maintained by the divine consciousness, not by a flawed, human brain.
The Psalmist said, “How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.””
The best healthcare is high on my list of life aspirations, and I’m sure it’s high on yours, too. Thank you Australia for ensuring the continuing freedom to choose whatever healthcare plan and treatment works for each of us individually.