Health is Wealth

Gurpreet - Westland, Michigan
Entered on June 14, 2008

What I believe: Health is Wealth

Imagine, you are a successful CEO of a large company. You are lucky enough to be married, with a wonderful spouse, two marvelous children, and the dream house that you have always wished for. Your loans are paid off, you’ve just purchased yet another collectible car, and now you are planning a family vacation to the Bahamas. Life is good.

Then, a week before you leave for your vacation, you feel pressure in your chest. You have a heart attack. You die in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Your job occupation, your marital status, your huge mansion, and your fortune of millions – nothing could save you.

This is similar to what happened to my uncle when I was younger. He however, was fortunate enough to survive his heart attack. It was my uncle who introduced me to what I believe in today: Health is Wealth.

“What good is a million dollar business if you do not have your health?” he told me. He used to be a chain smoker and had never even seen the inside of the gym. Much attention was paid to investments and finances, but none to what food he was consuming or how high his blood pressure was. A heart attack or stroke could have left him paralyzed. He told me that you will not be able to do much with your worldly possessions if you can no longer walk and need help performing day to day activities.

My niece, Pam, is another person that comes to mind when I think of how important health is. She has always been a perfectionist, and has grown up to have a good head on her shoulders. Pam now shares what I believe in, since she has had first hand experience in life. She was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes during her senior year in high school. She was always a ‘Type A’ person; Honor Roll student, a student athlete, and president of numerous extracurricular clubs.

Pam put in a lot of effort into everything, except when it came to monitoring her health. While in college, she would focus on getting her papers in and projects done. However, she would overlook the fact that she was consuming a myriad of junk foods. Pizza, soda, coffee, and Red Bull had become a daily part of her diet. “It’s okay,” she said, “I can eat anything, as long as I just take the right amount of insulin for the carbohydrates.” This was true, she could eat anything and it would be broken down by the insulin that she measured out. The only problem is that just because you can eat it, it doesn’t mean that you should eat it. It wasn’t long before she found herself at the doctor’s office, being treated for blood sugar levels above 400. (The normal blood sugar level is between 80 and 150.) If she kept this up, she would be heading down a path towards dialysis, kidney failure, and the possibility of losing her eyesight. There would be no use in being President of the dance team, because due to kidney failure she probably wouldn’t be able to walk. There would be no use of her Engineering degree, because being blind would disable her from using her computer software. It would be hard to get a promotion if she had to miss work due to dialysis 5 times a week. I wondered how she would be able to care for a significant other, if she couldn’t even care for herself first. It was hard for her to realize this, but now she too understands that a one’s health is the greatest wealth.

I believe that too many people, both young and old, have an unhealthy apathy towards their health. They achieve all their goals, but neglect their responsibilities towards keeping themselves healthy. We should all focus on taking care of ourselves, eating healthy, and staying fit. We should care because it is not just for our happiness, but for the happiness of our loved ones as well. I would not be able to care for my children if I was not healthy enough to care for myself first. Now nothing makes me feel more satisfied, or successful, than knowing that I have tried my best to attain the greatest wealth: my health.