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What is the value of being perfectly healthy on into your physical future? My answer, my opinion if you prefer, is that without perfect health all of Ben Franklin’s virtues, Happy, Healthy, Wise, and Wealthy, get degraded.

Monetary wealth in abundance means little other than the ability to give it away to family, friends or society if you are about to die. Or, if your health is terribly degraded, as it is when death is near, then huge quantities of money can be plowed into the ground trying to maintain a few more days of drug-induced breathing-coma. Having a Good level of wealth means you have access to medical care and can maintain a good life with paid personal assistance. Okay wealth will get consumed in a few days in a health emergency without some form of medical insurance. A Difficult level of wealth will be consumed in one day without government-sponsored help because at that monetary level few people will have personal insurance. Catastrophic wealth means your health is absolutely dependent upon the kindness of strangers. 

Money may not bring happiness but when it comes to health it can often prevent misery.

Happiness can be had for a while in a Catastrophic situation, even without any wealth, wisdom, or health. One of my most memorable experiences was in 1959 when I visited my father’s father’s brother and his wife in a nursing facility. He was ambulatory but mostly incoherent, but she was bedridden and as alive as an eighteen-year-old girl. Which in a way she was, because I was talking to her about my Grandmother, who was her best friend when they were teenagers. She was so excited hearing about my grandmother’s life and the success of her children, and even of me who was an Air Force pilot at the time. Both she and her husband died within the month, of old age.

The point is that even in extremely poor health situations, even near death, a person can be very happy.

Wisdom, when had in Wonderful abundance, can help in coping with lack of wealth, lack of health, and lack of happy external situations. However, wisdom can also eliminate situations that are not inevitable, unlike death. Wisdom can help bring into existence the best results of all the virtues because wisdom looks into the future and does those things in the present that will bring a long and happy life to you. As I concluded yesterday:

Wisdom is more valuable than rubies.” “Get wisdom and with all thy getting get understanding.