The word health comes from the root wholeness.
We believe that a root cause of the opioid epidemic and the chronic disease burden, in West Virginia and elsewhere, is the feeling of separateness, lack of connection, and isolation that many feel. In fact, Sam Quinones, who wrote the terrific book Dreamland, says that he believes that improving social isolation is the key to changing the epidemic of addiction.
Johann Hari said in his famous TED talk that the opposite of addiction is not sobriety, the opposite of addiction is connection.
Then, how do we approach this issue of connectedness and health?
Well, let’s go back to physics.
In quantum physics, all forces exist simultaneously as waves and as coherent particles. The thing that determines if a force is a wave or particle is an observer.
We induce coherence of that wave by interacting with it, so it goes from multiple potential states to the one that we determine.
We become coherent with the force and focus it to one that is chosen in that minute.
Similarly, a 40-watt light bulb lights a room, dimly, if it is out of phase or non-coherent.
In contrast, if a 40-watt light is in phase and coherent, it is a laser and can burn through metal.
There is great power in coherence, and that I believe is a secret to rebuilding unity and wholeness in our lives and in our world.
Great purpose is a kind of coherence that synchronizes a group of individuals to become a force that changes futures.
Think about NASA, putting the first people on the moon.
Think about great innovators and their companies – Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Tesla and others.
Think about how Martin Luther KIng, Jr. and his colleagues challenged and changed the laws of this land.
There are many more examples that I could point to, but the truth is that coherence among a select group of people that rally around a great purpose can change everything.
Simon Sinek helped point out that great companies focus on their Why or purpose as their primary driver.
Once articulated and inculcated, a purpose to do good and change things is a magnetic attractor to many talented people. The unity of such an enterprise has great power and great coherence in direction.
Like light, aligned and coherent beliefs and purpose can change an ordinary group of people into a force for change.
Having this purpose helps an individual be coherent in their thoughts and actions and feel whole.
Bringing this power to our state, and combining this with love and safety, will lead to a brighter future where we then connect as a bigger whole to bring this coherence and unity to the world.
For when we come full circle and feel whole in our lives and in our purpose, we will naturally connect to others and help them. This is the power of positive messages that move through social networks.
Coherent in thought, in action, in purpose and in life. Individually and together. This is what leads to health at the larger level.
Pretty good place to be and to help others.
Originally published at vp.hsc.wvu.edu