HEALTH IS WEALTH
O health! Health! The blessing of the rich! the riches of the poor! Who can buy thee at too dear a rate, since there is enjoying this world without thee?
— Ben Jonson
The same idea has been imbibed in a Sanskrit saying ‘Sharir madhyam khalu dharma sadhayet’ i.e., all duties can be performed only through a healthy body. The worldly wealth is not a constant and permanent factor. It may be your companion today. Tomorrow it may vanish. ‘Luxmi’, according to Hindu mythology, is the most ‘asthir’ i.e., inconsistent goddess. Philosophers called it ‘Maya’ which robs the people. Thus it is not a reality. It is ‘bhram’ i.e., deception.
The real wealth is health. We may have millions and millions of rupees. But if we do not maintain good health of what use this money is to us. We cannot enjoy anything. Rich men generally suffer from a number of diseases which do not allow them to enjoy good and delicious dishes. If we do not keep good health we cannot enjoy a journey to pleasant places. If a man has week eye sight the whole world is dull and bleak to him. He can neither appreciate the beauty nor snow clad mountain peaks nor that of the roaring sea.
A man who loses health loses his social environment too. How long would people sympathize with a man who always groans with pain and whose body is a permanent abode of disease? Even the members of his family become allergic to him. People would like to have the company of those who would mix with them, associate themselves with their sports, go on picnic with them and be with them if they are attacked. An unhealthy man can’t afford any of these things. He is limited to his office or business establishment. He earns money which may be used only in curing his diseases. He can’t enjoy anything with it.
As Herbert Spencer said ‘The preservation of health is a duty’. He bewailed that few seem conscious that there is such a thing as physical morality.’ Unhealthy persons are physically immoral. It is the healthy individuals who maintain the health of the nation. It is our duty to keep the society healthy. It is only then that the country would prosper. Thus the prosperity of our nation also indirectly depends upon the health of the people. One can hardly differ with the view that it is real wealth as it keeps the mental balance of man. We find a healthy mind in a healthy body.