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!

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