The Busy Cobbler
There was a cobbler who lived in big village. As he was the only cobbler in that village, everyone went to him to get one’s footwear repaired. He was so busy that he didn’t have time to repair his own shoes. This wasn’t a problem at first, but over time, his shoes began to wear off and fall apart.
While he worked feverishly on everyone else’s shoes, his feet got blisters and he started to limp. His customers started to worry about him, but he reassured them that everything was alright.
However, after a few years, the cobbler’s feet were so badly injured that he could no longer work and nobody’s footwear got repaired. As a result, the entire village started to limp in pain; all because the cobbler never took time to repair his own shoes.
In today’s hectic life, we are also like this cobbler. We either tend to ignore our physical or psychological health issues or look for quick fixes. In both the cases the consequences can be disastrous.
For example, say a man is driving his Mercedes down the highway and he didn’t put the nut on the oil pan that tight and all the oil drained out. The red light on the dashboard comes on and says, “you better give me some oil”. That light irritates him, so he stops, opens up the hood, gets the clippers out and clips the wire to that light. He closes the hood and he just keeps driving. Would we do that to our Mercedes? No, we wouldn’t. But we take those pain killers for aches and pains, we go out there and dance, do our five-mile walk and our aerobics. Then we tell the doctor that the pill worked really well, because it killed the pain.
If we take a pain killer, take an anti-inflammatory for aches and pains, essentially all we’re doing is cutting the wire to the red warning light. Aches and pains in the body are signals that something is not right and needs our urgent attention. Pain in a particular part or joint says “don’t use me until you fix me”, but we go for quick fixes. By taking a pain-killer, by taking an anti-inflammatory which will reduce pain, we are allowing that part to be used, even though it would have been painful without the drug.
So, we are wearing that joint out faster and faster. Then our doctor is really going to get rich, because we will need joint replacement surgery. It is criminally negligent for someone to be prescribed a pain killer or an anti-inflammatory for aches and pains without eliminating its root cause and repairing it at the same time.
If we are in a responsible position and are one of the important links in the group’s survival chain, and if we do not look after ourselves, after a while we’ll be of no benefit to anyone else either. Our best intentions will mean nothing and we’ll be unable to do what we are meant to do. This goes for leaders, social workers, teachers, parents, breadwinners and homemakers. If we don’t take the time to care for ourselves, no one else will. Unless we are ourselves physically and psychologically fit and healthy, we will not only be unable to help anyone, but on the contrary, we will end up being a nuisance to others as well as to ourselves.
Our health is our responsibility, not the doctor’s. It’s really hard work to maintain our health. Have a well-balanced nutritious diet and regular mealtimes. Ensure all the vital nutrients are at the optimal level in the body. Keep the body well hydrated. Exercise at least for an hour every day. Have adequate sleep at night. If there is any health issue, focus on eliminating the root cause, rather than going for quick fixes. Seek expert opinion.
If we are not physically and psychologically fit and healthy, we cannot enjoy anything in this world.