I catch a lot of meaningless statements from people. I don’t know if they know it. So I’ll ask them to clarify; and you can see it dawn on them that they didn’t really say anything meaningful at all:
- “Eat healthier”
- “Try to be more active”
- “Immune system”
Ok. Can you make that phrase mean something?
“Eat healthier” is the top of the list. People say this A LOT. Do they read anything with any sophistication in order to understand what that might entail? No. But they heard it once. So they say it. It gets watered into absolute nothingness: “I’m trying to eat healthier.” That means nothing. It contains no meaning whatsoever. What specifically ARE you doing? Compared to what? Let us not put moral judgements on it. It may or may not be healthy by someone else’s standard. Is it PRODUCTIVE for you? How?
A close second is “I’m trying to be more active.” What does that even mean? Compared to what? Based on what? At what intensity, duration, frequency, based on what sensibility? Contextless, it’s just meaningless. Two billion people walk at least six hours per day everyday to find potable water. What PRODUCTIVE activity ARE you doing? How will you ensure you KEEP doing it?
No manager worth her salt would accept employees saying, “I’m trying to work harder.” That means nothing. What PRECISELY are you doing? Provide supporting evidence, please.
No worthwhile parent cares AT ALL about a child saying, “I’m trying to be good.” Meaningless. Tell me what you ARE doing and HOW you’re developing discipline and acumen.
For maybe a year I’ve been hearing people invoke “immune system” left and right with no specificity in the least. Ok. Can you please make that phrase mean something at all? Clarify.
Which immune system?
Adaptive or acquired or innate?
Acquired active or acquired passive?
AKT, antigen processing/presentation, APRIL, B-cell development, BCR, CD4, CD8, TCR, CTLA4, FAS, GzmA, ICos-ICosL in T-helper, IL-2, IL-6, IL-10, interferon, JAK/STAT, MAPK, PI3K, RANK, TGF-Beta, TH1, or TH2 pathways?
Tell me what you know about apoptosis, MHC, B-cells, T-cells, Ig heavy and light chains, subunits, foreign epitopes, APo1, CD95, the TNF superfamily, caspases, interleukins, NK cells, cytokines, hematopoiesis, kinases, lymphocytes, osteoclasts, homeostasis, and tumoricidal effect.
Nothing. Nada. No dice.
“Immune system” is one of the most meaningless empty sentiments a person can make. It’s like saying you’re a fan of water or not a fan of water. Ok? Cool. Do you mean you like drinking fresh water or you like swimming in the ocean? Because, just for the record, both involve water but have absolutely nothing meaningful to do with each other.
“Sun is good” might make for a catchy slogan; but what does that even mean? It’s totally devoid of definition. Do you mean vitamin D from sunlight can be beneficial? Or you enjoy the change in seasons and shifts from day to night? Because, just for the record, both involve sun and have absolutely nothing meaningful to do with each other.
“Healthier,” “more active,” and “immune system” are just like that. Eating more of certain things and less of others is more or less healthy for different people. The lowest minimum physical activity recommendation of any health department on earth is 150 minutes per week. “More” could be working up toward the minimum, at the minimum, or over the minimum. “More” could be less time with greater intensity. The American College of Sports Medicine leans toward 300 minutes, 60 of which should be “vigorous.”
As sad as all of that is, undefined “immune system” is the emptiest crap I’ve heard in a while. Which one? Which immune system? Which pathway?
Just meaningless. How can anyone engage, communicate, discuss, or debate, when the top popular phrases used in any health subject are utterly bereft of meaning? Other subjects follow suit, of course. If a campaign tag line is longer than four words, forget it. If a company name exceeds five syllables, might as well file bankruptcy right now. People will not listen the moment you take a phrase to a meaningful clarity.
I mean, I get it. We wouldn’t want people to create more than two understandings on a subject. That would be scary. Can you imagine the chaos if a third and fourth perspective broke free? Just melee. So, let’s keep it simple. Keep it small. Keep it imprecise and inaccurate. Everything is bad or good. I’m pro or anti. X is dangerous or not. There exist no shades, no colors, no caveats. In fact, why even bother with words? Let us reduce ourselves to four to five animalistic grunts or yelps. And God forbid we embrace the complexity of life. Let’s get it down to two syllables so it’ll stick - MAGY: Meaningless Americana Grunts Yelps. But really, the words for each letter in the acronym don’t even matter. It could just as easily be “mm…guh.” And I can guarantee that would have a shot at the top 5 pieces of health advice.