Health and wealth, two words that rhyme so well but often do not occur together. Good health is clearly preferable but if one does not have good health, then it is better to have some wealth to ease the burden. Money cannot replace the lack of health, but it goes a long way to make life easier, more comfortable and reduce a major stressor in most people’s lives. Those who are healthy do not have any idea of the struggle that those who are less able go through in order to do the simplest of daily activities.
We take for granted those qualities that seem to be so basic such getting up in the morning without pain or walking from the car to go inside the post office. A daily grind of pill taking, physical therapy, concern about how to pay one’s bills if unable to work and loss of self esteem take their toll. Even the simple joy of bathing a child can use up an entire day’s allotment of energy The real question to be answered is not whether health is better than wealth but what is the true path to happiness.
To be healthy but miserable because you are poor is a fairly shallow way to live your life. With health, your potential is unlimited. Nothing stands in the way of traveling, working a job, having a family or going back to school. With good health, there is always a way to make the money to create the life you desire. Can you be happy and be in poor health? To some extent you can, but poor health is like a roadblock that cannot be driven around.
It is always staring you in the face, requiring attention even in the most mundane of tasks. It doesn’t release you despite begging, crying, bargaining or even in resignation. Even when poor health is being behaved, it never truly leaves. To be wealthy but have poor health is like partial compensation, a kind of bad news with good news. At least, you will have less concern about the cost of healthcare, cost to live a restricted life and whether there will be money to attend to the further decline of health as you age.
Being wealthy and in good health means you have the world at your feet, nothing should stand in your way. You can wake up in the morning and carry out any and all of your dreams and plans. You should experience utter happiness that you have the power to conquer anything, unless of course, your health fails then the choice will be obvious. You would likely spend every dollar you have in order to get your health back.
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- Bloom, David E., and David Canning. “The health and wealth of nations.” Science 287.5456 (2000): 1207-1209.
- Deaton, Angus. “Policy implications of the gradient of health and wealth.” Health affairs 21.2 (2002): 13-30.