Op-ed

By Brittney Smith

Recently considering the often used phrase, “Your health is your wealth,” I was forced to ask myself some tough questions:

If wealth can’t buy happiness can it buy health? Can you be healthy and flat-ass broke? How is it remotely possible that we link ‘health’ and ‘wealth’ together when they are more than light years apart?

My overall stance on that statement, considering their literal definitions, is that unfortunately health does not actually equate to wealth. Being free from illness and/or injury is not the same as having an abundance of material objects or money. On the contrary, health is a factor in accumulating wealth, whereas health is absolutely freedom. You see, it is very well possible to be an individual with kidney cancer and $32 million in the bank. At the same time you can be 86- years-old, have a -$189 balance and be as pure as a nun.

In this country health is truly exploited due to America generating a good majority of its wealth from minorities and those in poor health. You can’t turn on the television or enter a store without being bombarded with advertisements telling you to “Get Fit!”

The question, then, is at what costs do we strive to be healthy? Are we willing to spend all of our so-called “wealth” on ridiculously dangerous surgeries, inflating healthcare premiums and crash diets/supplements? You’ll spend every dime to your name to stay alive but are you healthy in terms of your physical, mental and social well-being? Chances are, probably not. How can we as a society obtain health when we don’t follow a whole-foods, plant based diet? Inhale too much pollution? Set the planet’s temperature to broil?

Minorities – as well as poor (which is the new “middle class”) white Americans foolishly give away their hard-earned wealth to those who subject them and their health to severe manipulation. At this stage in the game doctors can do nothing but write prescriptions these days — which is why I choose to never see them. If “health is wealth” why isn’t my physician referring me to professionals who can attend to my specific needs instead of a “one pill fits all” hustle? Another thought is, if my health takes a turn for the worse aren’t I the first person to notice and the only one who can ultimately fix it?

You can never be free without health — thus health is freedom! Having the power to act, think and speak as one chooses without restraint, the threat of imprisonment or tyranny due to a lack of suffering caused by any critical illnesses or injuries. Health.


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