Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Dirt on Wealth & Health

Driving down the coast recently, my wife and I marveled at the human-made landscape east of the ocean. Two and three storey houses in abundance revealed a medley of colours, styles and features. It quickly made us feel quite poor by comparison, but less stressed also (for our simple life). There sure is no shortage of money in this world!

I got to thinking about money. No matter who we are we can never quite get enough money, can we? What with the bills to pay, things to buy to make life a little more comfortable, not to mention to be able to eat and provide for our other health needs.

Yet money is so obvious and visible, whilst the things that are really important in life, like our health, don’t feature as much. This is where the following truth comes in:

“The poorest man would not part with health for money, but the richest would gladly part with all their money for health” –Charles Caleb Colton.

The truth is the money of the filthy rich doesn’t buy them much. Sure, they might have all the possessions that the vain would envy, but that won’t help them in bind; especially a bind beyond monetary means. Money cannot fix cancer or motor neurone disease.

So, given the opportunities to win lotteries or not, why would we bother? Is it not worth giving up before we start? The problem with lotteries is what they do to our thinking. We start to focus on what life would be life, ‘if only…’

I find that a difficult outlook to contend with. It can only breed dissatisfaction and a crushing discontent when week after week we miss out. We tend to live for the future day when we’ll be ‘loaded.’ In the extreme, this is a farce of a life.

“The proper amount of wealth is that which neither descends to poverty nor is far distant from it” –Seneca, On Tranquility.

“That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest” –Henry David Thoreau, Journal, 11th March 1856.

Let’s get life in perspective. Our health counts for loads more than money in the eternal scheme of things.

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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