The World Health Organization’s definition of health, which I had to memorize in the first month of medical school, is, “The state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
Personally, I think this is ridiculous because it’s basically tautological. The term “well-being” is essentially synonymous with “health”. In fact, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “well-being” as, “The state of being happy, healthy or prosperous.” Way to go, 1948 WHO’er’s. It’s like looking in the dictionary for the definition of “happy” and seeing “not sad” and then looking up “sad” and seeing its definition as “not happy.” (Flashbacks to being the child of immigrant parents inserted here. And yes, I was a weird kid and yes, my parents will tell you that.)
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The New Year season is full of resolutions to diet for weight loss. It’s also one of the most fruitful seasons for merchants who produce weight-loss products to add to their bottom line. They’re easy to find and getting more and more clever with each passing year. They’re on Google Ads, banner ads, Facebook, Twitter, youTube, and infiltrate virtually every other on-line media you use on a daily basis.
This easily leads to information overload, as well as fear-based marketing: How do you choose from all of the products available? How do you sift through the inundating assault of those massively lengthy webpages that have PARAGRAPHS of text and testimonials? And worse yet, how do you know that one of those products isn’t better than the one you’re going to buy?
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All through my undergraduate “career”, I worked in labs. Just as there are gym rats, I was a lab rat. Great experience for me. Okay pay for a student. But when I finished my undergrad, I already knew I was going to start my Masters in the fall. And at the time, I also felt that I had never really earned an honest dollar. I had never set foot outside the Ivory Tower and so I wanted to experience what a “joe job” might be like. My first choice was to be a waiter–pretty social, they seem to have a lot of fun for the most part, and the pay was probably better than my lab stipends. But in Toronto, getting a job as a waiter is tough competition. In the end, I lucked out, but there was a period of a month or so where I hadn’t found that job.
So what’s a 23 year old, freshly graduated biology major to do? Hit the want ads, of course. What happened next is a story unto itself, but the crux of the story is that I ended up doing a short stint as a door-to-door salesman with a franchise of one of the largest direct sales companies in the world.
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