27 August 2019
Do no harm: A simple command that has greater implications for your life encapsulating mental, physical and social life.
When choosing to accept the command as a guiding philosophy for your life, perfect adherence is not necessary because even attempting to follow the command will have concrete improvements on your day to day life.
Do not harm yourself, avoiding passing judgment on yourself and maintaining a rational perspective acknowledging what you have accomplished and where you are on your path. Not harming yourself includes eating well, exercising, and maintaining a positive attitude, all of which have been shown to improve quality of life.
Studies from both the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and University of Illinois found that any kind of weight loss or exercise produced a higher quality of life for subjects of the study, and a study from the Indian Journal of Psychiatry found that any increase in micronutrient consumption eased difficulties with stress and depression.
Do not harm others, avoiding passing judgment and avoiding attacking others. When a person does not harm others, that person avoids unnecessary conflict that bogs down life, which frees up time for productive efforts. By reducing, and ultimately eliminating, behaviors that intentionally harm others, we can reduce our likelihood of being aggressive in the future.
A research article published in the Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing analyzed evidence supporting the social theory, which shows that children learn to benefit from being aggressive after observing it working, but aggressive people are less likely to be respected and have strong connections to others according to research from Utrecht University. This disconnection from a community causes more aggressive behaviors in a feedback loop that eventually short circuits our lives.
Do not harm the world, avoiding destroying where we live and the planet that sustains us. Without a healthy world, maintaining a healthy self becomes difficult if not impossible because it affects every aspect of our existence.
This last implied edict of do no harm seems to be the most ignored: as we watch rain forests be decimated to support constant consume and discard lifestyles; as we watch ecosystems destroyed to make flesh cheaper; as we watch tons of carbon spew out of Drake every day to power our convenient electronics.
When we spend money supporting a business that causes harm to the world, we are harming the world through their behavior.
Data from the Environmental Protection Agency found that after the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, we saw significant reduction in health concerns caused by airborne pollutants.
Accepting the do no harm commandment into our lives is the most rational decision a person can make because it benefits every person, and the more people who accept the commandment the greater the effect it will have.