Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Healthier Living: Will Innovative Technology Lead the Way?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Healthier Living: Will Innovative Technology Lead the Way?

Article excerpt

You're probably reading this on a screen. You already know we live in an advanced age. In significant ways we've progressed far beyond anything our ancestors would have imagined.

Every hour of the day we're reminded of this obvious point of comparison - technology. In one of my closets I have a manual and electric typewriter. Both have been collecting dust for years.

Speaking of relics, what happened to the neighborhood brick-and- mortar music store? And just last week while flying from Washington, D.C., to Boston, it was clear we wouldn't make our scheduled arrival time because of bad weather, so thanks to on-board Wi-Fi, I e- mailed my wife about the problem and she messaged back in moments that she was ready with an alternative plan. Time and distance are basically irrelevant thanks to technology.

Where we've hit a snag is in society's efforts to improve health. Plain and simple, we're not getting better. We're not riding the wave of advancement. Sad to say, the tide is going in the opposite direction.

While many look forward to a day when innovations in technology will put our lives on a healthier trajectory, I don't find that a reassuring promise. In fact I feel that pinning our hopes for better health on future generations of microscopic silicon chips is completely disconnected from a deeper need we have.

What I believe we're starved for is the spiritual more than the technical; the thought more than the thing. No matter what dazzling, hyperfast devices may be on the drawing board, and no matter what amazing capabilities these objects will possess, they're still the byproduct, not the source, of ideas.

We need breakthrough thinking in the world of health. We need stirring, awakening, paradigm-busting ideas. It's that kind of thinking that restored Emily Jaeger's health many years ago.

Emily was a college student studying biology, and one evening, while sitting in her living room preparing for her class, she began to feel incapacitated. She was frightened by the sudden difficulty she had in breathing and her inability to use her legs. She even wondered if she was dying.

But that mind-set didn't keep her down. …

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