Health is the greatest gift

“A healthy person wants a thousand different things; A sick person wants only one thing” – Naval

This past year was a painful reminder of how fragile life and health are, how all the trivialities I am privileged to worry about – am I going to get promoted? will I receive a raise? will my visa be renewed? – can quickly become utterly inconsequential.

In the last 12 months,

• My manager passed away after bravely fighting cancer for over 25 years
• I found out a co-worker at my previous company is in palliative care fighting terminal cancer
• I learned a friend was fighting multiple sclerosis
• A distant family friend passed away succumbing to pancreatic cancer
• I learned that a former co-worker is fighting Myasthenia Gravis

It is important to note that in the cases above, there is nothing any of these individuals could have done to prevent what happened. While acknowledging that individuals do bear responsibility for looking after their own health, it is evident that our Creator does love playing dice with our health and lives.

More depressingly, of the five cases listed above, three individuals had to raise money through online campaigns to help fund the cost of healthcare. What kind of society are we if we have to rely solely on the kindness of strangers to nurse our loved ones back to health?

A few things I have resolved to do on the back of all this.

• Be grateful for my health every day.
• Even though there is no escaping the whims of fate, eat healthy and exercise regularly to minimize any regrets I might have in the future.
• Don’t skimp and save on things that could affect your health. Spending on health and education are investments that can return many times over
• Listen more keenly to politicians and policy makers who are committed to providing universal health coverage

Govind G Nair
Govind G Nair
Senior Product Manager