The View From Here – In most instances, anything over an ounce of prevention is too much

Tom Henihan

The old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” has enjoyed currency since time immemorial and it is still qualifies as sage advice.

Looking after one’s self, eating and living well, providing for contingencies and keeping an eye on one’s circumstances is prudent, but feeling susceptible to every ailment, vulnerable to every intrusion is an unhealthy way to live.

An ounce of prevention is fine but prevention by the ton is a burden that impedes rather than enhances life.

Numerous television commercials are designed to stoke the viewers anxiety, citing dubious statistics of the chance of catching this, developing that or being the victim of car theft or home invasion and robbery.

A substantial number of medications advertised are not curative but preventative, which gives them a far larger market, considering that you can only sell the afflicted a cure but you can sell preventative medicine to everyone in whom you instil fear of catching any particular condition.

Your house may be secure without being a fortress, but images of hooded intruders worrying the windows of a leafy suburban home can cause enough worry to persuade people to be even more thorough because they are more afraid.

It is reasonable to have our cholesterol and blood pressure checked regularly along with other common, high-risk conditions to which many people are prone, especially as they age, but hypochondria and undue anxiety about impending adversity are maladies also.

We know it’s prudent to have house insurance and health coverage but it seems the healthier and more health conscious we become and the more comfortable and secure our homes are, the more anxious and fearful we become about getting ill or having our home broken into.

The spectre of impending disaster is front and centre at all times: we are told to buttress our lives, inoculate, insure, rig the door and dig in, because disease and adversity are on the doorstep.

For all our advancements and our sophisticated institutions: law enforcement, health care, ease of travel and so on, we act like we are living on a frontier with Armageddon only steps away, so and we must constantly acquire something to protect ourselves against another statistically boogieman.

Anyone who plays the lottery regularly knows that the odds are irrelevant, especially when they win. No matter how much of a long shot we still play the odds. Without being utterly careless or indifferent to our health and circumstances, we should do the same in life.

Whether it is the toss of a coin between two people, the roll of the dice or vying with millions across the country for the same lottery prize, that win or lose there is never a sure thing.

If we allow life to become a regimen of defences against worse case and just in case scenarios, we will live in a constant state of siege. Safeguarding ourselves against every new and imagined illness or hunkering down behind a grid of defences is a fulltime job that leaves little time or spirit for enjoying life and our current good health.


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