“The first wealth is health.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson (The Conduct of Life, 1860)
I woke up this morning with an urgent sense that I should tell you something that, in a fully awakened state, I realize you already know. But obvious things are often worth stating simply because they are so true.
Nothing is more important than your health.
If, before you were born, you were given the following choice, which would you choose?
a. To be born a millionaire but crippled
b. To be healthy but penniless
Would you trade in your consciousness for half a million dollars? Your ability to move for $250,000? Would you give up your sight for $350,000? Your sense of smell for $100,000?
Of the important things in life, wealth is probably not in the top three. But since the other things — the more important things — cannot be bought or sold, we tend to focus on that which can be.
So today, just for the record, let’s remind ourselves of what we know: Health is more important than wealth. Loving relationships are more important than wealth. And so is the sense that you are spending your time wisely.
If you don’t have health, you cannot enjoy or sometimes even experience the other gifts life gives us. If you have wealth but have no friends to share it with — you have nothing. And even if you have health and wealth and friendship but lack purpose, you are going to spend the rest of your life feeling the lack of it.
I’m not religious, but I believe in saying grace. Each evening before dinner, I ask my family to formally acknowledge our gratitude for our health, our wealth, our family, and our friends.
In the morning and before I go to bed, I spend a few minutes — not always but when I’m in a groove — thinking about purpose. Am I doing something that has value? Did/will I do something good that day?
Say a prayer today — especially if you are not religious. And remember to say grace.