Can you put a price on good health?
I remember the mocking smile and comments of a young man in his late twenties when he walked into our Health Food Store in a new centre where he was helping to put the finishing touches to the building. “Don’t tell me people actually buy all these funny things! If they really worked as well as you say, then why doesn’t my doctor prescribe them? Surely it is not necessary to spend money on supplements if you can rather buy beer and hamburgers!” I looked at this outwardly robust looking young man, can of fizzy drink in one hand, and packet of cigarettes in his top shirt pocket and wondered if speaking to him could make any difference to his ignorance. He really wasn’t interested to know why his body could respond to any of the herbs or supplements sold in a health food store. He stood there making his comments to give himself the boost of confidence he wanted, believing that his way of life is great, his medical support system is in place, he belongs to a medical aid, he can live and do as he pleases, the medical magic bullet will save him from any harm. He believes in these values and needs to build his faith by mocking that which he does not include in what he thinks works. Many people will not look at any alternatives to their frame of reference as it could mean change. To change ideas, values and perceptions terrifies most people. We even say – rather the devil you know than the one you don’t know! What happened to the young man was interesting.
I saw him again a few weeks later, without the cigarette packet in his shirt pocket, but still with the can of fizzy sugared drink in his hand. He was pale and drawn and this time quite anxious. He told me that he had a heart attack, ended in ICU for a day or two. He was told to stop smoking and to get some rest from his demanding construction job. His biggest complaint to my astonishment was not about the damage caused to his heart and to his health, but about how much money this whole inconvenience had set him back! He was more concerned about the cost than the physical heart damage – amazing!