What is good or bad for me?
Let me ask “what is good or bad for you?”
Are the answers to those questions going to be identical?
I don’t think so. We could get into a big discussion about what “good” and “bad” even mean, but without disappearing down that rabbit hole I’d just like to express the opinion that no-one can know you better than you can. No-one is better placed to know how you should live than you are.
We forget that in our increasingly controlling autocratic societies.
Here’s Montaigne –
Tiberius used to say that whoever had lived twenty years should be responsible to himself for the things that were harmful or beneficial to him, and know how to take care of himself without medical aid. And he might have learned this from Socrates who, advising his disciples, carefully and as a principal study, the study of their health, used to add that it was difficult for an intelligent man who was careful about his exercise, his drinking, and his eating not to know better than any doctor what was good or bad for him.
Socrates who lived almost 2500 years ago……his teaching on health?
Take care about exercise, your drinking and your eating.
Wow! Public Health advice has come such a long way! (hmm….)
But the main point Montaigne is making is one I agree with.
I’d be astonished if anyone claimed they knew better than I did what was good for me, or bad for me. Take the relatively common place circumstance of pain. Can anyone tell me better than I can whether or not a treatment I take for pain reduces my pain? No, they can’t. Only my personal experience will tell.
What better advice than to be aware, to be reflective and to learn about yourself?
Without that you end up swallowing the advice of someone who isn’t living your life.
(Oh, and what about today’s photo? It’s a fig. It’s a fig which grew and ripened on the tree we planted in our garden and it tasted….mmmmm….words fail me…delicious! Like no fig I’ve ever tasted before. Are figs good for me? Well that one certainly contributed towards my pleasure in being alive that day, and I’m looking forward to more figs growing next season. Are figs good for you? You’re the better judge of that one!)