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What makes a Healthy Society?

It is an interesting question isn't it? First I suppose I should define society, it is commonly accepted that a society is a group of individuals, living together in more or less harmony; or an organisation or club formed for a purpose or activity. I find that this reveals more questions than answers. Most people when thinking of society will think of a large area, the area or country you live in, the continent that is shaping your life, or even the world at large. However going on the above definitions, I start to wonder what is a group? Is it a group of 2? Maybe not, but then 2 is more than 1 so maybe it is. If we accept that it is 2 and above then the majority of people live in a society within their homes.

In my head (please don't look too closely, you may be scarred for life) I have a couple of societies. The first being my home, currently made up of my husband, 2 dogs, a cat, 3 chooks (do animals count?) and me. Which means that essentially there is little to discuss, luckily my husband and I share many views on the world, and when we don't he is wrong. (I am only half joking when I say this, I have learnt many things from him, however, I would say that I am more socially open and giving than he is). So if I look at this small society, it is well ordered, generally clean and tidy, with enough resources, and somewhat well, boring. There is not much to differentiate us from any other household in the western world, aside from the fact that we don't have children, although even this is not that unusual.

When I look at the bigger society, I suppose I think of the world, or society in general (whatever that means). I have always been fascinated by people. I think this is the result of being autistic, and never really understanding why people do something (I still cannot understand prejudice, social media, snobbery, class systems, or quite a few things that are apparently rules in society). So I have always analysed and looked at what people do. Why does this even matter to a person, what bearing does it have on their lives right now, or in the future. There are a couple of examples that really spring to mind here. I cannot for my life understand why anyone would mind a man wearing a dress or skirt or makeup. These things are a societal rule, and just think for a minute, why is this? Trousers are worn by women, and a dress is just material cut in a different way. So how is this not allowed for men? It makes no logical sense does it? Spoiler alert, please don't answer this with well that is how things are. It shows a lack of thinking and creativity.

The second thing I really cannot accept is jobs based on gender. You have probably heard that is woman's work or that job is for a man. It reminded me of a scene in Hollywood on Netflix (fantastic series that touches on pretty much the entire human condition) “oh no honey that is a white woman's role” could you imagine that sentence being uttered in 2020? I suppose we should start imagining we will actually be able to meet in groups to hear sentences first though. So just as I cannot understand the role thing I cannot understand the gender thing on jobs. I said as much to my husband, when he explained in his childhood home, there were pink and blue jobs. I was 26 at the time, and my eyes rolled so hard, I thought I would have to get a search party to go find them. I mean do people really still look at jobs in a house like this? Or for paid work? In my head each person has the ability to do something either more or less than the next. I will paraphrase from the film Made in Dagenham, that people should be able to a job because they can, not just because they have a dick between their legs. Quite.

So already you can see how difficult it is for me to answer the question I posed earlier. What makes a healthy society? In some ways it is as difficult or as easy as one wishes to make it. I think I shall take the easy route as I have waffled on for a long time.

My take on a healthy society is one in which people know when to mind their own business and when not to. This is a simple way of looking at things. See a chap in a full face of make up and a dress in a shop, smile and move on. Nothing to see here, they are happy, and expressing themselves in a way which challenges societal norms, but does not harm anyone. Therefore none of your business. A woman decides to wear a short skirt or a tight shirt, no need to stare, catcall or think that she is doing this for any reason than for herself, she thinks she looks hot and is enjoying the clothes she wears. That is her business and not yours. It is quite a nice game this isn't it. See a black woman holding hands with a white woman. Again none of your business, you are not in a relationship with them, they are not doing anything offensive, smile and move on.

Of course if you see a someone beating the crap out of someone else, that is your business, either get involved (I usually do, my husband has always said he expects a knock on the door someday to explain my mouth has been the downfall in my death) and help. At the very least call the police. This type of societal help, is like helping your neighbour in lockdown, or checking up on your friends. All of this is your business, to support people and help them. It is the same as smiling at someone, it is nice isn't it?

So if I had to sum it up in one sentence I suppose it would be this:

A healthy society is one, in which one can live their life, which is conducive to their overall well-being and doesn't affect anyone else adversely.

This meaning could be applied, to a house, a group, a club, a village, town, city, county, country, continent or world. And ultimately doesn't everyone wish to live their life in peace, improving their health and happiness whilst not damaging other people?

What are your thoughts? How do you think society could change to enable well-being for people? Comment below, and let us know what you think.

Written by staff writer from the Wellness and Fitness Academy. Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

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