Wealth Health and Wisdom
What advantages a rich man has! All the comforts, luxuries, and amusements of life, independence and security, the best education, social position, leisure for study and the cultivation of art and music, the joys of travel, importance, and power! Yet wealth may be a curse; it often leads a man to self-indulgence and luxury and vice, the vanity of display and arrogance, contempt of his less fortunate fellow men. In fact, wealth in itself is neither a curse nor a blessing; it depends entirely on how it is used. Wealth is power: in the hands of a knave or a fool, it is evil; in the hands of a wise and good man, it is a blessing to himself and to his fellowmen.
No one doubts the blessing of health. But often those who have it and have never known illness, undervalue it, and by carelessness or worse, lose it. It is when we have lost our health that we value it the most. Then we realise that health means happiness, efficiency and success, while ill-health means misery, incompetence and failure. Yet there are some brave souls who work and succeed in spite of ill-health, but at what a cost of effort and pain!
Wisdom is a more precious gift than either health or wealth, for neither of these will be a blessing without wisdom. A fool may inherit a fortune, but he will squander it in a few years, or use it to damage his own body and soul. A fool may have splendid physical health, but he will do no good with it and will probably lose it. But a wise man will use health and wealth to the best advantage. “Therefore,” as the sage said, “my son, get wisdom.” “The price of wisdom, says the Bible, “is above rubies.”
It is said of the wise King Solomon of Jerusalem that, when he came to the throne, God spoke to him in a dream, saying, “Ask what I shall give thee”; and Solomon asked for “An understanding heart”. And God said, “Because thou hast asked this thing and hast not asked for long life and riches, Lo! I have given thee a wise and understanding heart. And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches and honour and long life.”