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Mumia Abu-Jamal's Radio Broadcasts

A Matter of Health

Short Version: mp3, 3.47 MBs, 3:47

[Col. Recorded 9/22/04]

Health is far more than the absence of sickness. It is the presence of balance.
It's easy for us to think of health in terms of vials, pills, or even of exercise. But it is none of these things. Some may say it's a healthy diet, but that doesn't ring true either.

Why? Because neither tonics, nor pills, nor exercise, nor a healthy diet will suffice if the source of those things — the earth, the air, the water — is full of sickness.
We live in a world where thousands of lakes are pools of stagnant death; where oceans spawn red tides, or toxic pools where fish will drown for want of oxygen; where cities are bereft of trees and grass; where earth is as barren as deserts; and where air is a conduit of industrial poisons and pollutants.

In such a world, how can we speak of health? What can it mean?

We must think in a holistic fashion; of the whole, not the part.

To be truly healthy, we must work for the restoration of our total world. The restoration of our relationships; of our families; of our communities — and of the world in which we love, work and play.

We hear often of 'women's health.' But how can women be healthy, if men are*un*-healthy?

And this time is an unhealthy one for us all. It is hard to recall a time when music or popular culture has been so anti-woman, so sexist, so misogynistic. It's hard to recall a period of such sexual toxicity. But, this too, for our mental health, must be healed.
And women — our mothers, our sisters, our wives, our companions, our daughters — have tremendous potential social power to help this healing.

Mothers are the first teachers of us all; as such, they can teach boys to love and respect girls; and men to love and respect women.

Wives and lovers know that their words can move men to great lengths. Women have far more influence than they often acknowledge — they should use it.

Years ago, while I was in Huntingdon Prison, I read a poll in a national paper that measured the radical attitudes of Black men and women. Surprisingly (probably not surprisingly to women!) the most radical, rebellious, anti- establishment attitudes were among women — by far.

They can move men to fight harder against this system of sickness; to fight for health; to fight for balance.

We must build a holistic movement that strives for holistic balance; gender balance; environmental balance; psychological balance; and yes —- spiritual balance.

This world in which we dwell is one of imbalance; of runaway corporate ravaging of the planet, to benefit a few.

The words of our Blessed Ancestor seems apropos. Sojourner Truth, in her famous 1848 "Ain't I a Woman?" speech, spoke on the power of women:
"If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again!"

Now, ain't that the truth? Although she was speaking at a Women's Rights Conference at Seneca Falls, N.Y.(where the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass was the only man present) her words seem like they are speaking to us now.

In a sense, she was.

Copyright 2004 Mumia Abu-Jamal

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Submitted by: Sis. Marpessa

Text © copyright 2003 by Mumia Abu-Jamal.
All rights reserved.
Reprinted by permission of the author.