‘Health is Wealth’ Proverb means that the state of well being, free from disease or diseases, both physical and mental is indeed a wealth. The Adage is an ancient one, as can be observed from a great Classical Rome Poet, Virgil’s (Publius Vergilius Maro) Saying - ‘The Greatest Wealth is Health’. Virgil is considered to have suffered bad health throughout his life and perhaps it is possible that the status of his health inspired him to introduce this proverb as a word of advice for the coming generations. Similarly, a Spanish Proverb goes like this – ‘A man who is too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools’.
For the majority of us ‘Wealth’ means having lots of money, a big piece of land, jewellery, cars, a farm, a flat, a house or any property which has a potential of having monetary value in the market. But this limits the scope and vision of the term ‘Wealth’, though, in the conventional sense and dictionary definition, it is very much apt. But if we broaden our thinking and look beyond our limited vision towards ‘Wealth’, we will see and witness that, wealth is not just only what is being said about it. To better understand this, let’s observe our own lives. We study at school, college or have a profession and the ‘Knowledge’ and ‘Experience’ gained in this environment is also a ‘Wealth’, though you cannot touch or feel ‘Knowledge’ and ‘Experience’, like currency. Here, it is a wealth in the sense that it has a value which is practical, respected and admired in various social environments. Moreover, you can also create more wealth with the application of ‘Unconventional Wealth’. Amongst various forms of such Unconventional Wealth comes ‘Health’ which is by far the most important wealth one can have, more or less at the same level as that of ‘Spiritual Health’. This brings into light, the fact that ‘Wealth’ is actually dependent and linked with ‘Health’ in more than one way, a simple example is that - if you are physically and mentally ill, you will not be able to work properly or not work at all. And if you cannot work in the desired manner you will not be able to acquire the desired amount of wealth. It cannot be said conversely about health being dependent on wealth, simply because to be healthy, there is hardly any capital involved unless you pay to be trained for remaining fit. Having proclaimed that it is not wise to be ‘Unwealthy’ to be ‘Healthy’, i.e. don’t get obsessed with health to such an extent that it becomes a hindrance towards your productive capacity for wealth. Health is as much a wealth and an important one, whose value is comprehensible by those who actually consider it a wealth and not just a fad. Those who have not realized this need to think harder.
Why did the Health call Wealth?
Health is a wealth because of its multifaceted benefits which have a far-reaching positive effect on our lives, some of which may have been not realized as of yet. The benefits which have been realized, point directly towards the truth of this fact and establish it as a Truth.
Health is the Foundation for other Wealth – Health and wealth are related in many ways. But one fact that stands out amongst all, is that health itself promotes wealth. A healthy person will be more active, intelligent and efficient, this directly affects his ability to earn more and this money can be further utilized in creating more wealth.
- Health is an Investment with Good Returns: Health is one investment which has lifelong lasting returns. This is evident from the fact that – People affected with bad health often die at a relatively young age. They have been spending all their time in acquiring wealth and ignoring health. Their ‘Career Life’ was good but it turned out to be as reaping because they are no more alive. Added to the fact that many don’t live long enough to collect the pension and other benefits for which they spent a lifetime working. It is true that death is inevitable and unpredictable but the odds of dying early as the hands of a disease increase more in the absence of a healthy lifestyle. Conversely speaking a healthy person is more likely to live longer and reap the benefits of his hard work not only in the long run but also the short run. A healthy lifestyle will keep him away from most diseases and they might even pass on their wealth to survivors and heirs and even benefit them.
- Healthy Population Contributes towards Healthy Economy: Healthy Population directly contributes towards a well-developed economy of the respective country. It is very easy to understand this – if the employees of an organization are unhealthy or diseased, the profits of the organization will come down or remain status-quo. This will not only affect the organization it will further affect the revenue generated through these. A country’s economy can benefit only when its supporting structure is in good condition. The better the component of the structure the better will be the outcome. An example towards this aspect was highlighted by a recent study conducted by the World Health Organization. According to the study, around 47% of the workforce in urbanized industrial situations is overweight. Around 27% of those surveyed suffer from hypertension and around 10% are diabetic. The study discovered that workers are at a greater risk of developing chronic diseases such as obesity, heart attack, stroke, and cancer. One doesn’t need an expert’s opinion to imagine the future of such an industrial set-up.
- Health is a means to Better Living: Good health by default enables to maximize our body’s capacity and the resulting aptitude to acquire opportunities to earn more and live better. makes one a better person not just physically but mentally as well. Financial security and health are strongly related to personal happiness and to one another. A healthy mentality promotes good values like hard work, sharing, kindness, discipline and other desirable qualities. On the other hand, unhealthy life is a source of unhappy life. A wealthy person may have all the luxuries of life but it doesn’t necessarily mean that he is living a good life. Better living is only acquired by understanding that ‘Health is a means to Better Living’, not only infrastructure wise but also by attitude wise.
- Healthy Mind Stays in a Healthy Body: It is true by all means - intelligence, creativity, the presence of mind, humour, humility, presentation, communication and other aspects of the mind are not just practice dependent, they are also dependent on healthy lifestyle. An active body enabled by the physical regime, balanced diet, meditation and praying creates positive vibes, stimulates and energizes our brain. It enhances the performance of the brain in all matters of life, with which one can achieve greater heights and inspire others to do the same.
- Prevention is Better than Cure: There is a saying that ‘Exercise is the Best Medicine’, it has not been said just like that. The adage stands firm on its ground; proper exercise is a big deterrent to disease of all types. Exercise physical, mental and spiritual all improve immunity and make us stronger. We will be less likely to suffer from infections, allergies, stress and other problems affecting our health. More importantly, it proves the old saying that ‘Prevention is Better than Cure’. The money and energy spent on visiting and buying medicine could have been prevented if we had stuck to the basic rule. Most of us don’t care to look at our health, it is only when we get affected that we tend to pay attention to the larger problem. The cure also comes at a price and can affect a person’s health even further. For example, the high expenditure and or overdue medical bills can cause physical symptoms of stress, i.e. migraines, insomnia, and anxiety. If the person is all ready short of funds he is likely to suffer financial distress as well. Even far-reaching consequence like poor credit history and/or bankruptcy and reduced income can complicate the situation even more. Preventive measures like proper exercise, good sleep, recommended diet, routine check-ups etc. are better than the consequences of not adhering to this simple rule of life.
- Money Saved is Money Earned: Having a good health is a ‘Beneficial Money Saving Scheme’ simply because the money which would have been utilized in the treatment of diseases and it’s allied expenses has been now saved and or utilized in further savings. There are several instances where the treatment of a disease makes people bankrupt and make the penniless. If only they had listened and followed the wise words, their expenditure would have been saved.
- Prevention of Anti-Social Activities and Bad Habits: Alcoholism, smoking, drug abuse, and other criminal tendencies tend to be mitigated or non-existent amongst the practitioners of a healthy lifestyle. Greed, jealousy, hatred, revenge and other negative emotions tend to be aggravated when one is ‘Money Minded’. For such individuals, it is all about getting what they want, either by hook or crook. Their minds are corrupted and focussed on acquiring a large amount of wealth, this tendency fosters further undesirable practices which affect even the incorrupt mind. Certain individuals start to take alcohol, drugs and indulge in promiscuous behaviour to relax. However, the consequences of such acts are always destructive even to those who are not directly related to that person. A healthy person knows the consequences because of his intelligent mind and as such will not only abstain from these but will also try and prevent these for the greater good of the society. As for the ones who have survived such activities, are already experienced and unwilling to do the same.
- Makes Life more Fulfilling: Health is one thing which encompasses all the positive effects that can make one’s life a fulfilling one. Those who have understood to strike a balance between health and wealth have a sound mind. It is reflected in their behaviour and attitude. They are more likely to live life in a better way than those who aren’t healthy. We can only enjoy all aspects of life only when we have the time and energy to do so. A state of well being creates such an environment where one can focus on all areas of his life without being troubled or stressed about it. For a healthy person, even a small green leaf can give joy.
- Health makes a Better Society: Healthy people compose a better society. Balanced individuals adhere to the rules, promote peace, cooperate, be responsible, do volunteer work, indulge in productive activities and other valuable activities which make a society a better place to live. This establishes and or restores decorum in society. It is only when the individual is fulfilled with his life that he will think about others in society. The behaviour and activities of such people promote similar emotions directly and indirectly along all ages of people.