Mt. Everett Health Fair

October 17, 2011

CCF manned/womanned a table at the Mt. Everett Health Fair last week, an event which welcomed local organizations promoting health awareness to interface with High School and Middle School students.  A multitude of different approaches to health were represented (logically, considering how complex an issue Health truly is), including Al-Anon, Heart Disease Prevention, Youth Groups, Berkshire Grown (a local foods promotion group), and many others.  Community Cooperative Farms’ table espoused an interactive, hands-on approach to health: if you want to be healthy, take your health into your own hands!  We served hand-harvested herbal teas (chamomile, stinging nettle, and blue spruce – high in vitamin C and antioxidants, an immune system booster for Cold season!), freshly sliced green peppers and tomatoes, and 4 kinds of raw kale (for a Greens Taste Test Challenge), talked about natural approaches to health, and presented a sheet of questions for conversation on Healthy People, Healthy Food, Healthy Soil, and Healthy Society.  Some examples (see Health Fair Discussion Worksheet in media for complete file):

  • What does a Healthy Body look like? What does it Feel like?
  • Who are your role models of healthy people?
  • What is a healthy education? What is an unhealthy education?
  • What do you do when you feel lost? What makes you feel    centered  again?
  • Where does healthy food come from? Who has access to it? Who doesn’t?
  • What can we do to help heal the Earth? What can we do to Start those processes?
  • How does a healthy society treat people’s differences? How does our society treat people’s differences?

Reaching younger people takes a certain kind of willingness and openness to seeing the world as a younger person again – something our organization excels at, due to the fact that we’re still young in body and heart.  But we’re consistently amazed at how often older generations take on a role of estrangement from youth.  Youthfulness is not just a number of years – it’s a state of pliability, openness to change and new ideas, a lack of cynicism.  This cynicism hardens the heart and mind (and often body), and is a major epidemic in older generations.  If we aren’t willing to believe that change is possible, change becomes impossible.

It’s certainly true that interacting with others, expressing what you truly believe in, and trying to spread a message requires a huge amount of energy.  But that energy-expenditure only feels truly draining when it’s met with cynicism, hardness, closedness, rigidity – a complete lack of faith in humanity (in ourselves and others) and an unwillingness to try.  Talking to some people is like talking to someone on the other side of a wall, or trying to pull them up from a deep hole – if they don’t want to come out, they won’t come out.  With others, you recognize that spark of excitement, of passion, of belief, and you feed and fan each others’ flames, and you both leave the conversation strengthened, refreshed, rejuvenated.  Again, youthfulness isn’t a question of a number of years; it’s a state of being.