Driving into the office this morning I heard a story on NPR about a scientist who believes that he has created the best David Bowie song of all times. This topic might seem like a departure from my typical posts, but trust me I will relate David Bowie to health care.
The scientist in this story went through the most popular David Bowie songs of all time and tried to distill the similarities down to what each of them had in common. After his exhaustive research he found a “formula” for what make the most popular David Bowie song. He then decided to create what should be the greatest Bowie song of all times, but fell flat. I heard the song and quickly realized that there was a certain something that was missing.
As I was listening to this story it reminded me of something very familiar, then I realized; this is how we look at health in our country. The belief that if we can only understand the smallest parts of our bodies then we can understand the whole of our bodies. I will tell you that this did not work with Bowie and by the looks of our current health in this country it is not working for our health either.
It is safe to say that there have been countless numbers of people who have done Bowie covers over the years, some better than others. If it were only the lyrics that make the song, each time it is performed (regardless of the performer) it should have the same effect on the listener. If we could find the “best” lyrics we should be able to put them all together in one song and have a “super song” but we know this is not the case. Anyone who has been moved by a song knows that there is something more to that song than just a collection of notes, just like there is something more to the human body than just a collection of cells.
Each of our bodies contains our own personal universe of trillions of cells that are all working together to sing the song of life. Universe literally means “one song,” but more often than not we don’t listen to this song because we’re playing the role of the scientist dissecting the notes, beats etc. We can’t look at a sheet of music and understand why one song can bring happiness to some and sorrow to others, because there is more to the song than the sum of its parts much like our own individual song or our “universe.”
In order to find health we need to be able to hear our song, which is nearly impossible with all the distractions we are subjected to on a daily basis. For thousands of years people have been searching for ways to “tune in” to our personal song even before we were bombarded with stimulus. There is not a technique that works for everyone, when trying to tune in; for some it’s a hobby, a sport or a meditation.
Take some time each day to tune into your own song and you will find yourself bringing awareness and attention to the things that are truly important in your life.