RWR # 823 -- Jana's letter to editor Don

Don Ardell asked me the other day to read one of the 52 essays in his next book. It will be published in 2021, entitled "REAL Wellness: An Alternative to Doctors, Drugs, Disease and Religion", a modern update of his original book. All 52 essays have been selected and updated from his own favorite articles once featured in 900-some editions of the REAL Wellness Report, produced and distributed worldwide since 1984. Well, I agreed and picked an essay "Week 17 -- Can Wellness Be Measured? If Not, Why Not? If So, How?". Below you can read the comment:
Don--Measuring wellness--what a lifetime challenge. Mart Twain is credited with saying that it's better to deserve honors than to have them. Your essay suggests it's also much better to live wellness than to study and try to measure it. But, of course, deserving and receiving honors, and exploring how to measure wellness and living accordingly, are quite possible. These things are not mutually exclusive.
Having lived 10 years in the world of books and research articles, that is having read it all, more or less, I can appreciate the challenge posed in seeking to grasp what wellness IS or SHOULD BE. Until this challenge is met with substantial consensus, measuring wellness will seem futile.
In the current wellness-mess around world where there are claims of a $4.5 trillion wellness industry, when wellness is everything from cat-food to beauty to real estate to spa, measuring what we don't understand or agree upon seems out of reach. Efforts to measure wellness under these conditions risk giving a carapace of swagger, erecting a Potemkin Village, void of reality.
As a young student, amazed by the real meanings of the term found in your books and Jack Travis', I accepted the challenge and started the path towards measuring wellness. That is what my teachers and university required. It has been a long (and a bit traumatizing) experience searching for the bridges between our (i.e., the one true creed) wellness world and a scientific one. Though I still believe the connection is there and the gap in mutual understanding is shortening, topics like reason, exuberance, and personal freedoms are hard to envelop within the scientific method. 
What gives me some peace in the fast research-oriented world are realms such as qualitative research, a phenomenological approach, and theory grounded in what a subject perceives as important and relevant.
In this methodology, the perspective changes from the scientist to the person answering questions. Questions such as the following provide somewhat measurable data:
  • How do you incorporate reason in your days?
  • In what ways do you experience exuberance?
  • What does personal freedom mean to you?
With this approach hidden or unaware wellness aspects can be scientifically described (although many hard core scientists still find these methods unreliable, wrong or possibly voodoo, as well as
However, in the grand scheme of things, such as we might imagine a grand scheme, and considering the complexity and galactic scope of wellness with all its components and interrelations, I agree with you--
we don't know how to measure wellness. We can't do it--and maybe that's good, because otherwise some might think they know it all.
If that were true, there would be less room for awe, wonder and gobsmackability. Hopefully, we all appreciate the importance of awe, wonder and gobsmackability in the quest toward our elusive best level, time and again, of REAL wellness.
(Text was published in RWR # 823 with kind proofreading and editing by Don. Thanks.)

Článek napsala Jana Stará

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