An Ounce of Prevention1

January 1, 2015

There is a great deal of wisdom in this short little quote by Benjamin Franklin:  “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” 

Here is some food for thought on the subject.

With respect to our gardens, during the late spring and throughout the summer they are very much on many of our minds.  As part of the process of preparing to plant our gardens, one of the questions we ask ourselves is, “How am I going to prevent weeds from growing rampant?”  At that stage we have a couple of options.  We can do nothing and deal with the weeds as they show up, or we can decide that it is worth the effort to take precautionary measures to help insure that weeds do not take over our garden. If we choose to take the latter road, we begin to engage in a little or a lot of research on the subject, asking garden experts what they recommend and then we either follow a natural or a poisonous approach to our potential weed problem.

When it comes to purchasing a brand new car, soon after we do so, we will undoubtedly ask ourselves, “What must I do to keep my new car looking like new and in good shape so it will last a long time?”  We have been told, and may have learned from personal experience, that filling our cars up with cheap gasoline, seldom if ever giving our car an oil change, and not properly maintaining our car will result in the car’s engine getting clogged up and our car’s deterioration.  How long will our new car last if we take this approach?  When we commit to preventative maintenance, we extend our car’s life.

When we do not consistently attend to the maintenance that is required on and in our homes, what happens?  It begins to look shabby and run down and will eventually deteriorate.

In all three of these familiar areas of our life, our garden, car and home, we are aware that regular attention and maintenance will help us avoid stressful, damaging and costly consequences.

It is part of our everyday life to hear our friends, co-workers, a family member or even ourselves speak about experiences we are having, dealing with health or other life challenges.  We hear how so often the cure and the “road to recovery” has been a very stressful, costly, painful, and long one.

From the cost factor alone, medical journals are estimating that for every $1 spent on wellness (prevention), $ 16 is being saved, which would have been spent on cure.

What do you suppose the ounce of prevention looks like when it comes to our bodies, in order to ward off acute and chronic conditions as well as degenerative or life threatening diseases?  We’re all familiar with the list of “what to do to stay healthy,” of which eating nutritious food, exercising regularly and getting lots of sleep are at the top.

What matters most in all of these areas of our life, our garden, car, home and health is what value we place on them.  That will determine whether or not we take care to maintain them.




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