Marvin Repinski: Satisfaction in completing the task

Published 5:44 pm Friday, June 10, 2022

A story. A woman was asked to put up a sign for her rental property. She said to her sister, “I’d like to tidy up this old house with paint. It’s peeling on every side and the back porch. I’ll make this house attractive to those passing by, looking at a sign, ‘ROOMS FOR RENT.’” The owner said, “I lack funds to make it welcoming.” Sister: “Just have the house painted on the side facing the street!”

The uncompleted life, falling behind in the care of one’s health, is for many  people a neglect of a satisfying life. What is it that any of us may leave undone, forgotten, postponed, or neglected? We do feel good when a planned action, a goal, a work is followed through on and completed. Our emotional well-being is enhanced in crossing the finish line.

If you are an enthusiast, for example, of watching participants in track and field events, think of what you appreciate. Usually a red or yellow tape indicates the place that a race may end. The competition is measured in breaking that tape and a winner is declared. To “break the ribbon” is, to the applause of the viewers, the recognition of one’s completed run. As you can imagine, the runner’s heart has its own applause!

In affirming our intent, the Bible reads, “Know this, that they who run in a race all but receive the prize! So run that you may obtain.” (1 Corinthians, 9:24)

Health is one of the most desired parts of human beings. They wish for an illness-free body and mind. It is one of our constants. Most of us work to be accident-free, to maintain a weight appropriate to our body size; to eat appropriate foods, and engage in exercise and trust the medical profession to advise us in the trauma that brings us misery. We seek the care of the physicians that are prepared to treat our ills and the comfort of caring  people to be by our sides. The organizations, clubs, fitness centers, and wisdom from many sources are adopted to affirm the health we seek.

The following quotation, from the book “Ultra-Metabolism” is one of the resources that may be recommended. Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D., gives us a reminder. “The human body is designed to gain weight and keep it on at all costs. Our survival depends on it. Until we face that scientific fact, we will never succeed in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

Doctors and consumers alike believe that overeating and gluttony are the causes of our obesity epidemic. Powerful genetic forces control our survival behavior. They are at the root of our weight problems. There is no one solution for everyone, a one-size-fits-all weight loss strategy that works all the time for every person.”

This quotation ventures into a controversial field of all the books, movements for weight loss and promises. You’ve seen these with “proving” photographs! Messages are provided to gain your attention: “Three months ago (maybe three weeks), I weighed 180 pounds. Look, I lost 22 pounds and I’m now so pleased.” Added may be the result “my partner loves me more than ever!”

As an onlooker, a person wishing the best health possible for a given person, I interject the theme of today’s writing. The goals we set, the promises of that beautiful body, will not materialize without a mental discipline that reaches deep into your goals, your wishes, your choice.

I write as a person who believes that it is possible to use spiritual — call it religious motifs — to better focus our minds on accomplishments we entertain. The runner in a track meet must obtain a desired time to out-distance others in competition. She crosses the finish line by long-term efforts and preparation. Might that not be a lesson, a model for the endeavors that claim our efforts?

I have friends whom I have counseled — men and women and some youth — in the area of discipline. I’m writing about the curse of alcoholism, the terrible toll of living and not being sober. The illness — many in Alcoholics Anonymous call it — of hurting ourselves and possibly a vast number of other  people such as one’s young children, for instance, can be addressed.

A remark I recently recall can be applied to a number of messy issues and many kinds of behavior of not honoring one’s dream of a stable character. “You’re dealing with a lot of silly people in the marketplace; it’s like a great big casino and everyone else is boozing. If you can stick with Pepsi, you should be OK.” Who among us can say the last word about casinos? My memory is of a last trip to a casino when Christine drove grandma to this so-called recreational parlor, as she called it. Grandma said, “I had thought long about going to this place. I finally made it. I wanted to know about Black Jack!”

The concern of this essay is in the title. Satisfaction is a state of living that we do seek. It is bound up, as I see it, as following through on our plans, our obligations, our assignments to complete the chosen course. It is a great, all-consuming involvement of our many resources. To accomplish a purpose, an all-embracing goal. Oh, what a pleasure!

A meditation: “Light is the power to dispel darkness. You have this power to move back the darkness in yourself and others — with the birth of light created when one mind illuminates another, when one heart kindles another, when one person strengthens another, and its flame also enlarges within you as you pass it on.” (from “The Growing Edge” by Howard Thurman).