The cost of free will

Suffering is cumulative. At some point, when you have amassed a critical level of suffering, it trips a threshold of tolerance; at which point you make a decision to change.

It’s called free will. Why is it so hard to change behaviors?! The goal of health education is to provide the knowledge and skills to help people change their lifestyle. The goal is for them to adopt behaviors that will help them become healthy and to stay healthy. Health experts estimate that fifty percent of health status is determined by lifestyle; so, teaching people to eat better, exercise more, drink responsibly, avoid drugs and tobacco, wear a helmet when riding a bicycle or motorcycle, drive safely, manage stress positively, and stay out of the sun leads to healthier lives.

Chronic diseases are among the top ten killers of Americans today. Because most are lifestyle-oriented, they are preventable for those who adopt healthy behaviors. Yet, mortality and morbidity rise every year. So, it’s evident that knowledge does not change behavior. Further, attitude does not change behavior. In fact, even the threat of death does not change behavior.

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