Developing and maintaining a healthy bodily mechanism is a lifelong endeavor. There is no stage in life at which we can safely neglect the problem of proper maintenance. If you are fifteen years old, you will be interested in the optimal growth and development of your own internal machinery. If you are twenty, growth may be almost complete but development and maintenance are still taking place. If you are thirty, your interest in healthful development will probably have expanded to include your own children. If you are forty or older, the story is the same, with variations. As long as you have life, you can hope for better days, a better life, and better health.
There is unity in life. The boy is the father of the man; the girl is on the road to womanhood. Many of the troubles that arise in middle age are on the way in youth. How one fares in old age may depend on how well one has prepared in youth and middle age. One of the tragedies of middle and old age is failure to recognize that illnesses do not arise out of nothing. People who are visited with sickness late in life often have no idea that they may have been paving the way for it for years.
There is another kind of unity in life. We individuals are not islands; we are bound together in a thousand ways by interdependence and common interests. If you have brothers or sisters, they are part of your life. The bond between husband and wife is strong; bonds between parents and children may be stronger. No one will read this book without thinking of others and of how the insights he or she is gaining might be utilized by those with whom he or she rubs elbows physically, emotionally, or intellectually.
In order to take care of one’s complex physical equipment, it is necessary, at least partially, to understand it. There is no simple recipe for living. If one is not willing to learn, he or she must take the consequences. These may include living a life less rich in energy and satisfaction than it might have been.
I have designed this book to help people of all ages to do their living with greater expertise. Those who patiently read what follows will not only learn how to do a better job of living; they will also be convinced that how they care for their internal machinery is not a trifling matter: it can make a world of difference.
No other book I know of presents, or claims to present, similar insights into these problems.
Roger J. Williams