The Value of Health by Gwen Randall-Young

It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver. – Mahatma Gandhi

doc check upDo you take your health for granted? It is easy to do so when health is good. We get caught up in the pace of modern life, finding ourselves multi-tasking and scheduling increasing numbers of activities into our already full lives. With so much to think about, our minds are occupied with a million and one things.

Those myriad thoughts can suddenly collapse into just one, if we are faced with a health crisis. Those who live with chronic pain can scarcely think of anything else. One with a potentially life-threatening illness is no longer concerned with the trivial aspects of life. One who suffers deterioration in health, physical capability or memory is acutely aware, on a day-to-day basis, of what is happening in his or her body.

Illness can suddenly put a lot of things into perspective. It is a precious gift to be pain-free. It is richness beyond measure, not to have to bargain for just a few more weeks, months or years of life. It is a blessing not to agonize over the health of a loved one, for whom, in addition, we may have become primary caregiver.

I wonder why, if we are blessed with good health, we would spend even a second harbouring a negative thought, or holding resentment towards another? Why would we want to pollute a system that is fortunate enough to be in a state of physical harmony?

Why also, would we engage in any behaviours that might compromise our health now, or in the future? Is it because the healthy blithely think that illness is something that only happens to others? If so, it is time to wake up and realize that our health is without a doubt our most precious commodity. Do everything in your power to guard it, nurture it, celebrate it and preserve it. Whether we consciously think it or not, it does, after all, come with a “best before” date.

Gwen Randall-Young is an author and award-winning Psychotherapist.  For permission to reprint this article, or to obtain books or cds, visit

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