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Temperance - Dr. Neil Nedley
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Balance has lost its true meaning: Modern society has become a society of excesses! We try to take something bad and make it good. For example, cigarette filters were added to cigarettes in the 1950s, in response to the first reports that tar in cigarettes was associated with the increased risk of lung cancer. Still, tobacco is a major cause of death in the United States, killing 1200 Americans every day.

Alcohol

We have found a way to say this is a health benefit – drinking only one or two drinks per day is going to benefit our hearts. Yet, 5000 youth per year lose their lives to binge drinking. In reality, the bad effects to the whole body and on the heart itself counter any benefits it may have to the heart. Alcohol increases the risk of stroke, heart failure, stomach ulcers, and cancer, and causes high blood pressure – a very dangerous condition for the cardiovascular system. One or two drinks can produce spasm of the coronary arteries, decreasing the oxygen supply to the heart. So, the reports of the health benefits of alcohol are really misleading to the public. Unfortunately, millions of people have become alcoholics, ruining body, mind, and soul, and destroying families in the process. Perhaps the saddest statistics are those of damaged babies who are permanently retarded due to their parents’ alcohol use.

Coffee and Caffeine

Coffee is being highly praised for its anticancer phytochemicals and antioxidants. On the other hand, caffeine is addictive, stresses the nervous system by overworking it, can lead to depression and anxiety with the jitters, and in pregnant mothers increases the risk of miscarriage. A new study shows that 5% of all heart attacks are attributed to caffeine use alone.

Drugs

Despite all the education about illegal drugs, we continue to see an increase in their use and abuse. Many begin using drugs out of curiosity, to please friends, to provide an escape from reality, or to avoid dealing with problems. Because drugs don’t solve problems, users often find that instead of escaping from their problems, they end up creating something worse – drug addiction. The need for the drug often becomes so strong that users will resort to dangerous and illegal activities to obtain a continuing supply. Up to 70% of prison inmates are incarcerated for drug-related crimes. If you or someone you know is addicted to drugs, get help!

We need to rethink “moderation” and “balance.” The goal of temperate living is peak physical, mental and emotional well being. Temperance really means to “abstain” from anything that is harmful and use in moderation things that are good. Temperance does not just involve alcohol, tobacco, and drug use. It refers to all aspects of our lifestyle, whether it be overeating, overworking, too much play, or too little/much of anything. Such unbalanced living robs men and women of a rich, healthy, and satisfying life.

Common-sense changes in your lifestyle can add years, perhaps decades, to your life. What’s more, your quality of life can vastly improve. Plan right now to enjoy filling the years ahead with a balanced high quality life!