The moral treadmill Is an individual solely responsible for his/her wellness?
IT MAY be common to prohibit people from smoking in public places, but how bizarre would it be to ban smokers from applying for jobs? That was the news some years ago when several healthcare institutions in the US disqualified smokers who applied for jobs. The logic: your mind and body are economic resources, and if you take care of them, you are a good worker. And if you fail to conform to this idea, then you are simply weak-willed.
In a capitalist economy, there is more to this bizarre moral command. Employees who are smokers potentially cost more to the employer—not because they would suffer from diseases, but because it would be cheaper not to hire them and provide health insurance. This invasive command to be always healthy, happy and successful is called the wellness command, something you should be wary of, say academicians and authors, Carl Cederström and André Spicer in The Wellness Syndrome.
Ideology sans logic
They say there is nothing wrong in being healthy, but when wellness becomes an ideology, the failure to conform becomes a stigma. Not just health, but happiness, success, mindfulness are all capitalist ideologies to which we may be succumbing to at the cost of edging out the world. With an idea as definitive as that, the authors show how everyday life could throw up peculiar situations.
Take, for example, the mind-body approach to health. The idea that physical illnesses are caused by what’s troubling your mind
THE WELLNESS SYNDROME Carl Cederstr m and Andr Spicer Polity Press | 200 pages | ISTOCK PHOTO 1,360