"Health is not everything, but
without health, everything is nothing…"
said the philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860),
who devoted himself intently to the topic of health and strove to integrate his
findings in everyday life.
Among other things he noted that:
general, nine-tenths of our happiness depends upon health alone. With health,
everything is a source of pleasure; without it, nothing else, whatever it may
be, is enjoyable; even the other personal blessings—a great mind, a happy
temperament—are degraded and dwarfed for want of it. […]
It follows that the greatest of all
follies is to sacrifice health for any other kind of happiness, whatever it may
be,for gain, advancement, learning, or fame…"
The truth of these words is clear
to anyone who has ever faced serious illness, personally or among family and
friends: ill-health or a lack of vitality can have a devastating effect on
personal wellbeing, relationships, job prospects, finances, and plans for the
Scientific research into prevention (prophylaxis) has
progressed by leaps and bounds over the last few decades. We are increasingly
aware of the connections between our lifestyle choices and state of health. Yet
healthcare costs are rising nonetheless, because
we don't yet apply what we know to
our everyday lives.