Integrity Breeds Longevity

My stepfather, Jim, turned 75 last week. He is a neuropsychologist at University Hospitals here in Cleveland. A major teaching hospital affiliated with Case Western Reserve’s Medical School.

It just so happens that Jim also coaches Case Western’s novice crew team, this after having a nice run himself in competitive rowing, a sport which he did not take up into he was well into middle age.

I marvel at his energy and ability to do so much and be so cognitively sharp without any signs of slowing down, which led me to examine his lifestyle.

Jim does not eat mammals, it’s just where he has decided to drawn his line in the sand. And even though he does eat poultry and fish, he is happy to ditch those options for a vegetarian entree` any old time.

He has basically always exercised and when not exercising is just one of those individuals who is in constant motion from the time they awaken.

I believe Jim’s lifestyle choices have contributed to his health for sure, but health is multi-determined and I think many of us either don’t think about or simply dismiss the role that leading a life of integrity plays.

Here is a man who loves and believes in his work. He works hard and is never one to procrastinate or leave tasks unfinished.

He is also honest to a fault. Jim is simply incapably of telling a lie. My mom found this a hard pill to swallow when on upon their wedding day he could not promise to love her forever. Fourteen years later, we still joke about it, but the truth is, he would never want to make a promise he could not keep.

Every single thing Jim does all day long is in line with his value system, from his work, to his coaching, to the charities he supports, to what kind of husband he is, and on and on. He sleeps like a baby at night and no wonder. His blood pressure is low…no surprise!

What if everyone had their beliefs, thoughts, and behaviors in alignment? Think about it. Worry would be an infrequent visitor and those 8 hours would be much easier to attain.

Doesn’t it stand to reason that this would translate into better health?

As I am starting this journey into all things veggie, I aspire to reach that place of integrity and calm. The calm of knowing everything I put out into the ethers is for the greater good and will ultimately assist me in the process.

Take some time and look at your life and try to identify where there may be a disconnect between your beliefs and your actions and do your best to tidy up that space. Trust me, you’ll sleep better and who knows, you may just find yourself functioning at your peak by your 75th birthday.