Healthy reality check: What money cannot do

MONEY is at the heart of human reality. Yet, COVID-19 has asked us to rethink our focus to see the limits of the almighty dollar.

Such refocused view may be our healthiest reality check to date, and when we do what money can’t, therein may lie real health.

Money can buy:


A house, not a home

People go the extra mile to beautify their houses. This, in and of itself, is fine, given the time we spend there.

While a house is the physical building, people and familial bonds are required to make it a home. However, within a materially crazed world, family members may be overlooked at the expense of maintaining a physical structure.

We hear of suicide and domestic violence, even in upscale communities — an indication that all is not well in terms of adequately meeting emotional needs.

COVID-19, having killed so many family members, has driven home the reality to never put material structure over people.


A clock, not time

Spend your time wisely. While money can purchase a number of clocks, no amount of money can get us more time in a day. Often, we say, time is money. But the truth is, time is more important than money, because we can use our time to make money, but no amount of money will put more time in a day.

We should, therefore, use our time to care, as best as possible, for our health, which is so fickle amid COVID-19.

Remember, time spent can never be regained. Using too much time to make money may compromise our health and that of others, and may just find us later spending more money on health, with little time remaining. One man lamented sacrificing eating in order to spend time working. With ruined stomach walls, he now prayed to be able to enjoy a simple meal. Money has bought him food, but couldn’t buy him appetite.


A bed, not sleep

It is important to invest money in a good bed, since we spend a third of our lives on it. But while money may get us a good bed, that does not mean getting good sleep.

Sleep is critical to survival and good sleep is preferred, over a good bed. While the latter can enhance the former, focus more on the health benefit the material object may facilitate.

Treasure a good sleep. Its restorative potential is awesome. Your immune system, arguably, the best defence against COVID-19, is so much stronger with good sleep. And, how thankful people are in these times when they go to bed and are just simply able to rise anew.

Insurance, not peace of mind

People may wisely invest in insurance to cushion the effects of untimely death, accidents, diseases, or acts of God. However, no amount of money can get us peace of mind in this COVID-19 crisis. And the fear is, no insurance policy could galvanise us against the threat of the outbreak. Following health directives is our safest bet.

Put health over money every time. Try attaining good health — that is our best doctor.

Keep following health directives while you attain the things money can’t buy, for therein may lie the start to true health.


Warrick Lattibeaudiere (PhD), a minister of religion for the past 22 years, lectures full-time in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Technology, Jamaica.

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