Our Future Health & Happiness – an essay by Caroline Pakel

My future health is rooted in how much I care about myself, today, now. And when I think about how I care about myself today, the word that lights up in front of my brain is “vegetables” – yeah, especially the green looking ones, and yeah, it comes up with a very bright, green halo. And well, I can see you smiling reading this. OK, I guess “yoga” comes right behind it – in a bright, luminous light this time – but yoga will really need to wait for its turn another time. This is show time for green vegetables. And I would like to tell you why.

Any green vegetable makes me smile. I know it loves me and wants me healthy. The thing is that I have to care about me in the first place to eat it. And in truth, that is not always the case. It’s difficult to think and remember that I matter, that I need to care about me. And every time I eat them – those green vegetables – I have noticed how things start changing in me, how my mind starts humming and how my heart starts bobbing along their lovely beats. The truth is that without vegetables, I feel ugly, and lonely.

Caring for me is the challenge. And when I talk about it with others, I realise that it is a challenge that many of us share. Caring for oneself is not easy. Especially when no one was there to show you how much you mattered every day – or every week, or well, every month… OK, I’ll stop here. It’s not easy to hug oneself when no one before has really had the time or the concern to hug you, with deep love and respect, and when it’s not your birthday or Father Christmas’ day. I keep thinking that maybe they just didn’t know about green vegetables.

So the future of my health and happiness is in my ability to eat vegetables daily – yeah, I bet you got it, green ones especially! And it also means that it is the future of the health and happiness of others around me. Because when I care about myself, that I eat (green) vegetables, and that I feel good in my body, my heart and my mind, something else happens.

What happens is that I want others to eat green vegetables too. And when they can’t or are not sure, I just want to share my green vegetables with them. Because I want them to know that they matter too. And I want their mind to also start humming and their heart to also bob along their lovely beats. Because I know that without vegetables, they probably feel ugly and lonely, just like me.

So, the future of our health and happiness is in a garden of vegetables – yeah, sorry, green vegetables. Maybe a garden grown and shared by all, because we all care and we know that every one of us matters.

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