Champions of the Global Goals: Matangi Kendapady
Good health and well-being go hand in hand with one of my personal dreams and with the overall betterment of the world. How? I never thought you’d ask! Starting off in college, I was a neurobiology major…don’t ask why, that’s a separate blog post. However, there was a class that I absolutely fell in love with – wait for it – “Anatomy and Systemic Physiology.” As tragically nerdy as that sounds, it changed my entire view of the world and opened my eyes to the complexity, the beauty, and the wonderful miracle that is the human body (and every living thing for that matter). It was an “aha” moment I never expected and just as MLK Jr. had a dream, I formed my own “I have a dream” moment. My dream is to have everyone in the world to take a course in systemic physiology, which covers the study of the body’s systems and their functions. It sounds ridiculous, but if people only knew what it takes to form a healthy human being, and have it sustain a full healthy life, they will see why it is so important and has so much meaning.
After I took this course, I immediately had a newfound respect for everyone I interacted with. Even people I didn’t really have an affinity towards, I saw them with a heightened sense of admiration because I knew they beat so many odds to become the fully functional and perfectly synchronized body with complex functions all wrapped in a skin that they are today. The number of things that can go wrong from conception to birth to the first year of life, is scary yet truly awe-inspiring to think how many of us survived. To know that any little thing that can go wrong – from a blood pressure disturbance, a slight increase of a specific hormone, misfiring of brain signals, to seemingly minor DNA changes can all wreak havoc on the body as a whole because everything is so intertwined and dependent on each other. I can go on forever about this, but let’s talk about how we can rule improve the world with this knowledge.
The way I see it, having an understanding of how a human body works with all its interconnected glory is crucial to how we treat ourselves and how we treat others. There’s a serious lack of respect for our own bodies when there’s so much overly processed junk food, high rate of obesity, high rate of malnutrition, dependency on drugs, and the use of harmful chemicals in the world. Knowledge really is power here when it comes to people taking care of their bodies by eating healthy, exercising, and taking care of its needs instead of pumping it with drugs at the first sign of any symptoms. Food manufacturers and growers having this understanding will ideally feel a strong sense of responsibility to produce foods that are grown without the use of pesticides and artificial ingredients and feed society with wholesome goodness. The vegetarian in me also hopes this responsibility can be extended to how we treat the animals that end up in our food supply. Conscientious food production alone can have such a huge impact on our overall planet’s health. Drug companies will hopefully focus on respecting the body’s processes and treating the source of health problems instead of clearing symptoms. They can probably shift their focus on providing important life-saving drugs and vaccines to people in real need. Being mindful of how your actions can affect others on a molecular and cellular level should empower you to do what is going to have the most positive impact on other lives. With this renewed ideology, I hope people can see each other with mutual respect and beauty, rather than finding a reason to hurting each other by going to war and creating segregation and inequalities between colors, genders, and types. As far-fetched and as outlandish as this sounds, I really do believe feeling good, eating good, and doing good is all connected to the overall betterment of the world.
Learn more about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and see how you can support Goal 3 – Good Health and Well-Being.