Of Wealth and Health

I daydream a lot but I have a very fertile imagination also and, while musing, riches came to my mind. Who doesn’t want to become rich and famous, drink fine champagne and preferably Moët everyday, eat lobster and caviar followed by strawberries and fresh cream.

Daily, I hear about poor people. How can anyone who has two eyes that can see, two healthy arms, two healthy legs and a sound mind say he/she is poor. I have worked in a psychiatric hospital, an orthopaedic hospital and a few general hospitals in the UK. Do you know the price of being able to get out of that bed by yourself in the morning, walk to the bathroom, hold a cup of tea and drink it without any help from anyone? Millions of people on this earth can’t even carry out such a simple task which we take for granted and we are not grateful enough for what we have and can do.

While I was waiting in a shop. I heard someone saying that some families here are so filthy rich that they do not know how many millions they have, plus other assets, and that they must be sleeping on bank notes. Pity they can’t take some of it to the next world, but it won’t be of much use anyway as there won’t be any shopping malls, beauty parlours, no Cartier, Dior, Gucci, Armani, Vuiton or the designer labels. And certainly no Chivas Regal either. We’ll all be plain Janes and plain Toms. On the other hand, there are others who can afford all the food in the world but have to make do with oatmeal and Nestum due to ill-health.

I can’t consider myself poor because I can go anywhere I want, accompanied by someone of course, though not in a chauffeur-driven BMW but in a chauffeur-driven bus, and an economy flight ticket is just the one for me. When others are footing the bill, then you travel in business or first class, isn’t it? I eat and digest plain and simple food and sleep soundly, being only a ‘tidimoune’, except if one gets some unsavoury visitors, for heavy lies the head that wears the crown. Forget my Swiss bank account from when I lived and worked there. Yes, I have also been quite ill in the past.

In September 2009, I read about Nick Vujicic in an English magazine, then 26 years old, from Los Angeles. When he was born in 1983 in Australia, his father left the room feeling like puking and his mum, though a nurse, couldn’t bring herself to hold him for four months. He had a condition known as Phocomelia, that is being born with limbs missing. Nick had none, he was simply limbless. All he has is a small flipper, like that of a dolphin in lieu of his left leg, which he calls his chicken drumstick. He learned to write, type and best of all kick a football with it, but he had determination and didn’t allow anything to stand in his way. It was either sink or swim and he chose the latter. He became a professional surfer and has visited over 24 countries, giving lectures as a motivational speaker. And he writes books.

While surfing on the Internet last week, courtesy my ipad from my younger son (I am learning though I don’t think I’ll get the hang of this high-tech stuff) I saw some videos of Nick with his Americano-Japanese wife Kanae Misahara and baby son Kiyoshi James. What an achievement but above all, what an inspiration, always with a big grin on his face and laughing. How he manages that, I don’t know. Kiyoshi is perfect in every way.

People who suffer most, complain least.

* Published in print edition on 19 July  2013

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