Thursday, January 5, 2017

hauptsache gesund?

Dear Little One,

Since coming to Germany, I've realized that overall, Germans are highly concerned with good health. You can see it in the thoroughness and strictness of their socialized healthcare system, in their concern with healthy eating and organic shops, and in their love of being outside and taking walks in the Wald. Not that North Americans aren't concerned with health; some are. But in the land where you will be born, they say "Hauptsache Gesund!" or "The main/most important thing is health."

We like all the healthy options available to us here, and you have already benefited from the good medical care here. We've always been the whole grain, fruit and vegetable types, so Germany suits us. We love being able to move around the city by bike or by foot. Germany gives Dad more weeks of holidays because it's important to them that their workers have time to rejuvenate, and we will never complain about that! But is the most important thing health, as they say here?

In Germany, God used to be worshiped above health, but not anymore. Most of the traditional churches have become more like museums to be visited, or nice place to find silence and take pictures. Surveys say that for most people in Germany, the idea of a personal, living God is passé. But that doesn't mean they don't worship any more. (Societies never eliminate worship completely—they just find another object to worship, usually some created thing instead of the Creator.) Good health is a god to be worshipped in Germany. Maybe the god above all gods.

I'm glad we don't worship at the altar of good health, Little One, because the priest of that god told us that modern medicine has no means to heal you. Which means that if the Hauptsache is that you be Gesund, your life would have no more purpose. Our hope would be extinguished. Exchanging the God of gods for the god of health is a choice a person can make, but an expensive one. Because when your health is taken away from you, you have no hope. And what then? Maybe your good health coverage would cover treatment for the depression that would surely follow?

I'm so glad your value was never tied up in your health.

Hauptsache Gott!

Mom and Dad