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ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY: Strengthening the core

© Another Day in the Country

Whenever I’m in a “big city” — which means anything bigger than Ramona — going to a grocery store that features organic produce and what I call “health food” — which means anything to assist your body so that it stays healthy — I’m like a kid in a candy store.

On a recent foray, I saw some multi-vitamins that proclaimed on the label “Core-Daily #1, Women over 50, multi-vitamins.” I looked at the fine print through my bifocals and read all the good stuff in each tablet, that I knew I needed, and bought a 60-day supply. Now the trick is getting used to taking them every day. I haven’t been one to carry pills along with me wherever I go. I’m going to have to learn a new habit. I tell myself that it’s a new year and the optimum time for developing a new ritual.

It was that phrase “protecting the core” that caught my attention. A few years back I proposed to strengthen the core of my muscle structure, so I started exercising regularly. I’m not a hard core exercising person — although I know I should be — but an exerciser, nonetheless.

The weekly exercise routine that I do works on the exterior. Now these Core-Daily #1 vitamins are promising to address the interior. I’m not expecting anything dramatic during this 60-day trial period but I will be paying attention to messages that my body is sending me as to my well-being.

If good health were as simple as popping a pill, I’m sure that we’d all become pill poppers. Would that be a cinch? I remember a science fiction film that I watched years ago that suggested in the far future, 2040 or some such, we’d all just be swallowing pills for our food as well as health and mood enhancement. I thought it was pretty far-fetched at the time; but Americans seem to be edging in that direction.

I wish there was a pill we could take for what ails the world today. We need some core strengthening in America. Just the concept of core is an interesting one to stop and ponder, especially in the Midwest.

Kansas has always been considered America’s Heartland. We are in the middle of the country and considered to be down-to-earth, simple, hardworking people with strong core values.

I’ve usually considered the core values of country people to be hardworking and trustworthy.

Helpful is another concept that comes to mind — especially when there is a tragedy or hard times. But, is this really who we are? Times change and so do generations.

And so, I ask the question of myself, “What are my core values?” and also, “What are the core values in my country, America, not just in Ramona, or in Kansas? Are these values the same as they always were or have they changed?”

That discussion should be a lively one around the dinner table or as you are driving somewhere in the car with a friend or family.

Photography has always been a passion of mine and I was listening raptly to the story on the radio about photographers who cover war around the world. In this day and age, when everyone has a camera on their phone and even kids learn how to photoshop pictures, the subject of altering a photograph came up.

“It’s against our ethics,” said the photographer.

Being a photographer myself, I knew that. Altering a photograph is like cheating at sports or doping at the Olympics. It’s against the rules. But what caught my attention was the very word “ethics.” I hadn’t heard anyone talking about ethics — except perhaps the lack thereof.

Ethics is a concept beyond a “core value” and extends into the area of “rules.” And, rules are something every functioning society develops so that there isn’t compete chaos. I sometimes fear that the concept of ethics will become out-of-date, as the concepts of truth and honesty are being abandoned.

It’s time that we turn off ‘virtual reality’ whether it’s on the television or in the political arena. Maybe we need to stop and think about what’s really important to preserve our families, our community — even our country.

I can swallow my Core-Vitamins indefinitely and they won’t do much good if I don’t back them up with a healthy lifestyle. Likewise, we can say we believe in being honest, ethical people, but if our actions are otherwise, it means nothing.

Core is by definition the beginning, bedrock, and what everything else depends upon. It’s another day in the country and time to work on our core.

Last modified Jan. 24, 2019

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