The Blue Zone characteristics of Loma Linda residents, contribute to the city as being one of the healthiest communities in the world, as evidenced by the longevity of its residents; these are:
- Family is put ahead of other concerns
- No smoking
- Plant-based vegetarian diet
- Daily moderate physical activity
- Legumes are commonly consumed
- People of all ages are socially active engaged and integrated into their communities, that is they perceive themselves to members of a community, which according to the McMillan & Chavis theory, has four components:
- Membership which includes five attributes, boundaries, emotional safety, a sense of belonging and identification, personal investment, a common symbol system.
- Influence works both ways: members need to feel that they have some influence in the group, and some influence by the group on its members is needed for group cohesion.
- Members feel rewarded in some way for their participation in the community.
- Shared emotional connection. The “definitive element for true community” (1986, p. 14), it includes shared history and shared participation (or at least identification with the history).
Other Blue Zone characteristics include, alcohol in moderation, sexual abstinence for singles, good sleep hygiene, limited food intake, and stress management.
Blue Zone individuals know their values, passions and talents, and how to share them on a regular basis. But inner city living, is marked by mental illness, divorce, promiscuity, out of wedlock children, unmarried females heading up households, a cynical view of the future, parents who have not completed high school, lack of a family ethic of education, lack of tutoring resources, antisocial, aggressive, and confronting behavior, where Elijah Anderson relates, the “code of the streets” prevails.
Blue Zone individuals find time each day to meditate, have a spiritual practice, nap, pray or enjoy a happy hour; but inner city living is marked by listening to rap music. Blue Zone individuals have a sense of faith and right conduct that does not involve confrontation or conflict with others.
Blue Zone individuals exercise daily. Loma Linda residents often go walking.
In Blue Zones, sexual relations are monogamous, and the functions of the family comes first. The family is where the individual develops socialization skills and learns healthy life habits.
But inner city living is marked by a lack of a family education ethic, which uses books and coaching to teach one to bridle physical desires, strengthen good morals, develop critical thinking skills, and learn positive values as well as self esteem. In the inner city, the family is not involved in vocabulary or math skill development, nor does sex education come at home. Kirby Anderson writes in The Teen Sexual Revolution that Whitehead concludes that comprehensive sex education has been a failure. For example, the percent of teenage births to unwed mothers was 67 percent in 1980 and rose to 84 percent in 1991. In the place of this failed curriculum, Whitehead describes a better program. She found that “sex education works best when it combines clear messages about behavior with strong moral and logistical support for the behavior sought.” One example she cites is the Postponing Sexual Involvement program at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, which offers more than a “Just Say No” message. It reinforces the message by having adolescents practice the desired behavior and enlists the aid of older teenagers to teach younger teenagers how to resist sexual advances. Whitehead also found that “religiously observant teens” are less likely to experiment sexually, thus providing an opportunity for church related programs to stem the tide of teenage pregnancy.
Inner city living is often marked by a father’s use of corporal punishment. A wide variety of studies indicates indicates that corporal punishment, when compared with other methods of punishment, of older children and adolescents, is not effective and is associated with increased risk for dysfunction and aggression later in life. Research has proved Dr. Dobson’s dogma on corporal punishment to be in error.
Blue Zone individuals perceive of themselves as being of the right tribe and take stock of who they have as acquaintances and friends. Blue zone individuals know others who possess and practice healthy perspectives.
Dan Buettner, author and anthropological explorer, is the Minnesota native traveled to four countries to study the world’s heartiest humans. In Sardinia, Okinawa, Costa Rica, and Loma Linda, California, Buettner partnered with scientists to examine anomalous pockets where the number of centenarians vastly exceeded the statistical average. These areas became the subject of his book The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest, which is available from Amazon.
One can reside in an inner city neighborhood, yet live in a blue zone. I grew up in a middle class neighborhood, and often wondered why there was such a wide variation in the character of my peers. For many character was a matter of family childhood education. Those who have done well in life and who have had good jobs, came from a family that had a religion, and where education was practiced at home, and where a college bound desire was inculcated. For these, clean living came by a faith, whether it was Baptist, Mormon, or Jewish. Such contrasted with my next door neighbors, who were a school cheerleader and a local drug dealer, who by age 20 owned the best car of anyone in the neighborhood, a Maserati; they were loved and used by many. I’ve observed that genetics does play a large role in determining the health outcome of one’s life, where some are healthy and others not so healthy. Physical and mental health is determined in large part by what goes on in the womb. I’ve observed two people coming from the same mother, one is pliable, but the other bipolar. Health outcome is established in the womb. King David, was fortunate in that he was wonderfully made, faithfully minded, amazingly redeemed, caringly nurtured, truly blessed, highly favored and deeply loved. Yes, David was wonderfully made in his mother’s womb. For him, nothing interfered with God’s development process.
The sovereignty of God determines all things. Exchanged Life Ministries relates that in all things, the will of God prevails, And the Physician Luke wrote in the first century that God determines the times and places in which one will live. God’s word declares, “Remember the former things of old, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things that are not yet done, Saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, And I will do all My pleasure’,” Isaiah 46:9-10. And His word states, “Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He”, John 13:19.
End Time Prophecies provides a video describing the Bible prophecy in Daniel 7, where Daniel saw a vision of four beasts. This is a parallel prophecy to Daniel 2, where king Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of a statue. Just like the statue had four metals, each representing four kingdom, so does these four beasts each represent the same four kingdoms, namely Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek and Roman Empires respectively. Today a revived Roman Empire is forming in the Eurozone, and one day it will morph into a one world government as foretold in bible prophecy of Daniel 7:7, where a global leader, Revelation 13:5-10, and a global banker, Revelation 13:11-18, will install a one world currency providing for global seigniorage, Revelation 13:17-18. The good news is that “In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever”, Daniel 2:44. This verse is reminiscent of Isaiah 9:7, “Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end.”