America-Bashing and Your Health: How Being the 'Good Guy' Gets Us in Trouble

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Sick and tired of America-bashing? Healthy living expert Elizabeth Eckert says the same stresses and conflicts that create vulnerability to illness may also leave America open to foreign resentment. It all hinges on a set of personal commitments that Eckert says form the cornerstone of our collective peace of mind.

Sick and tired of America-bashing? There's been plenty around lately, with Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez being among the most vocal. Healthy living expert Elizabeth Eckert says the same stresses and conflicts that create vulnerability to illness may also leave America open to foreign resentment.

“It’s not intentional, of course,” says Eckert, author of Stress in the Background: How to Thrive in a High-Stress World. “We think we’re doing the right thing. But our collective awareness is off.”

Ask an American to respond to the criticism, and one sentiment will dominate. “We’re good people. We give so much!” Americans take pride in their generosity. They offer aid to their neighbors, welfare to the disadvantaged, and hospitable open borders. Yet that very generosity may be doing them in.

It’s not that they shouldn’t give. The specific challenge they face, according to Eckert, is to practice empowered giving. “Unless we enable the receiver to retain his honor, things won’t go well. As a giver, we have a secondary responsibility to empower the recipient. When we forget that responsibility, whether individually or as a society, we become vulnerable.”

It all hinges on a set of personal commitments that Eckert says form the cornerstone of our society's collective peace of mind -- an integral part of a balanced healthy living practice. In this case, the personal commitment “to do your share to provide for yourself so you do not become a burden to others" is at risk for those who receive America's good-will. At some level they realize it, and they’re resentful.

When people live in a way that respects their personal commitments, they thrive. By enabling those same commitments in others, the others thrive, too. It’s simple healthy living. But busy as people are, they may not take the time to discern or value those vital commitments. They stay tucked safely away - in the background.

Yet there’s good news to be found as well, Eckert says. “As our awareness increases at an individual level, the collective awareness of the culture will shift. It’s a grass-roots shift. And it’s happening now.”

Elizabeth Eckert, whose background includes energy medicine, neuromuscular therapy, and developmental psychology, supports healthy living through her WordCures.com website and HealthyLivingDIY.com blog.

Learn about shoring up your vulnerability to stress, and access Stress in the Background: How to Thrive in a High-Stress World at http://www.wordcures.com/HealthyArchives/AmericaBashing.html.

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