The boy was at his father’s funeral. He sat quiet, staring ahead, his eyes unfocused. No one at the funeral felt sorry for the orphaned boy. The boy himself felt no sorrow, no remorse, no guilt. But perhaps he should have. Because he was the cause of the funeral. He had shot his father in the chest with a shotgun that he carried in his truck.
Perhaps there should have been sorrow for the father, murdered by his own son. But there wasn’t. It was town gossip that the father had started his sons on illegal drugs at the age of twelve. “They’ll get drugs sooner or later,” the father had said, “might as well come from me instead of some stranger.”
The man had been a long-distance truck driver. He saw his sons rarely, and he shared the pills, the stimulants, and the depressants he took while driving with his teenage sons. One day the father and son were both “on pills” and a fight started. It ended with the father in a pool of blood, the son standing
dazed over him, and the sheriff rushing to the scene.
This story is true, and it happened in a community of less than a hundred people. Drugs, vices, and a destructive lifestyle are no longer problems just for disadvantaged children and youth. Our children and teenagers everywhere are being poisoned, devitalized, and sickened by the unhealthy lifestyles being taught to them by schools, parents, and friends.
The current state of our children’s physical, moral, and emotional health has never been lower. If we are to have a society worth living in, then we must launch a full-scale effort to educate every child about the virtues of healthful living and Hygienic practices. Healthful living is the only salvation for damaged youth and children, and we must learn how to teach them the most basic necessity of life: how to grow and prosper in health and happiness.
1.1 What Is a Healthy Child?
Few people have seen a healthy child. You may have seen children that are not currently sick, cranky, or irritable. You may have a child that is usually a source of
great pleasure for you. But unless the child has been thoroughly taught and raised according to the principles of healthful living and Hygiene, then it is doubtful that he or she is truly or completely healthy.
In fact, there are few totally healthy people, adults or children, in today’s world. Dr. Herbert M. Shelton is the world’s foremost teacher of healthful living for both children and adults. He has raised children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren according to the teachings of Natural Hygiene and Life Science. His book, The Hygienic Care of Children, is still the standard work on healthy child rearing. He has this to say about what constitutes the healthy child:
“There are certain leading characteristics of a normal, healthy, well-nourished child which every parent should become familiar with. Here are the following evidences of health in a child:
- Mental alertness, brightness.
- Cheerfulness and a contented disposition.
- Bright, sparkling, wide-open eyes.
- A good appetite.
- Absence of vomiting and regurgitation of food.
- Normal bowel movements.
- Very little crying.
- A steady gain of healthy weight, not fat.
- Firm elastic flesh with springy muscles.
- Perfect, sound, continuous sleep all night.
- Constant growth in health and intelligence.
- Symmetrical development of muscular tissue.
- A clear skin complexion.
- No evidences of pain and discomfort.
- Freedom from all sickness, disease, illness.
A healthy child is a happy child. A healthy son or daughter respects parents and returns the love given. For a child, health is much more than simply freedom from common childhood illnesses. Radiant health in a child indicates vitality, cheer, cooperation, and a pleasant disposition.
Health is the natural gift of childhood. Unfortunately, this gift is often taken from the child by misinformed parents and educators who do not understand the basics of healthful living. A child must be taught how to live in a healthy manner—not because health is an unnatural state that must be learned, but because the child is led astray, miseducated, and seduced by the perversions, shortcomings, and misunderstandings of the modern world.
You who have the knowledge of healthful living must share it with the children of the world—whether they be in your family or in your community. You must become a teacher of healthful living practices to those who are young and look for your guidance. You must teach your children how to live a life that will always be full of health, well-being, and cheer. This lesson teaches you how to instruct the children in your life about the enormous benefits to be obtained from a life of healthy habits and practices.