One of my readers shared this story with me.
She was listening to a Cheyenne tribal elder, who is an ethnobotanist (better known historically as a medicine man or healer) telling about his grandfather.
When his grandfather was around 100 years old, he was sitting on his porch one afternoon when a car drove up in front of his house. A public health nurse got out of the car, walked over to him and started yelling at him because he would not come into the clinic.
She repeatedly told him, “You need us to check your ears, eyes, teeth, and you need a shot.”
He had not been going to the clinic, and he wasn’t taking any medicines.
He did not respond to the nurse, who got even madder, and then finally gave up and left in an angry huff.
After she was gone, his wife came out to the porch. He turned to her and quietly said, “I didn’t know I was supposed to get sick.”
The Cheyenne elder explained that his grandfather expected to be healthy and did not expect sickness to be any part of his experience. He lived accordingly and stayed healthy.
He went onto further explain that people are often educated to be sick, and that we need to resist those suggestions so that we don’t unwittingly take on ill-states of thought that lead to unnecessary suffering.