“I thought I knew what fear was, until I heard the words ‘You have cancer’. Real fear came with an unmistakable sensation: it was as though all my blood started flowing in the wrong direction. My previous fears, fear of not being liked, fear of being laughed at, fear of losing my money, suddenly seemed like small cowardices. Everything now stacked up differently: the anxieties of life — a flat tire, losing my career, a traffic jam — were reprioritized into need versus want, real problem as opposed to minor scare. A bumpy plane ride was just a bumpy plane ride, it wasn’t cancer.” – Lance Armstrong.
Recently, my dad was hospitalized for some minor health issues. And when it happened, I was reminded of last year when my mum was hospitalized as well.
It’s interesting to notice that being healthy is sometimes a state that we take for granted. We are on top of the world when are in the pink of health, we stuff edibles of all kinds without thinking of the effects, we sit down all day watching the TV. Sometimes, the thought to exercise or break a sweat seems to be non-existent in us.
It just struck me when I saw my mum lying on the gurney, after a minor surgery, how didactic being ill can be. The reality slapped me in the face. It was at the time when my college exams were taking place, and my mum was hospitalized. It wasn’t easy. I did the exams, but most of the time, I wished I was elsewhere; at the hospital. Exams and college seem to dwindle beside my mum’s well-being. Granted, it wasn’t anything serious, but it definitely gave me a glimpse of the larger issues of health and life.
Think about it. Health is probably the only thing that immediately affects our life. When you lose a job, it isn’t as bad as losing your health. You may have savings to keep you afloat. When your business suffers, it isn’t as bad as when your health suffers. Tomorrow, your business might gain new vigour. When you lose a loved one to a deadly disease, we sometimes wish we can trade all our worldly possessions to get them back. Everything seems to pale when put beside health.
Perchance, we should all strive harder towards a healthy life. It is undoubtedly worth it. And maybe, spare a thought on those who are ill too, so that we can imbibe the courage and wisdom that they have to offer.
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