By Norm Wilkens
According to Benjamin Franklin, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
If that quote was good in the 1700’s, it is certainly worthwhile today. Ben would have been justly proud to know that those who live by that saying are living more prosperous lives because of it.
Coming from a family of physicians and nurses, I have been aware from almost my toddling days that preventive medicine can head-off all types of healthcare challenges. My mother, who was a nurse, made sure my sister and I were up-to-date on all the visits to the dentist and doctor. My dad, a physician, took care of any preventive medications needed to block major illnesses. He even made sure I was exposed to mumps at an early age so I wouldn’t have to experience it later in life. It was tough during a summer vacation to be confined to bed at a lake cabin. The days of quarantine of a household are long gone. Children today receive vaccines to prevent many diseases.
Keeping our family safe had many advantages, not the least of which, was always being on guard – knowing where we kids were and what we were doing, and making sure that the neighborhood was safe for all concerned. It really was easier in those days because neighbors looked after all of us. We could play until dark and after. There was always someone on a front porch or near a phone should an emergency occur. Because of that alertness, there was never any reason to be worried. Everyone looked after everyone else – particularly the children.
Preventive measures cover so many more things today than Franklin could have imagined. If there was ever anyone with a vivid imagination, it was Benjamin Franklin. I am sure he would be amazed and a bit amused to realize that his saying applies to so many different things we encounter today. It not only covers health related items like teeth, eyes, ears and other body fitness, it can be centered on looking after the family should something happen to the breadwinner. Ben would certainly approve of writing a will for protection of an estate. He would make sure that insurance was a major part of a family’s existence. And, he would insist that the insurance process begin early enough that the premiums are less expensive than later in life.
He would share the value of Whole Life versus Term Insurance and the benefits of both. He would insist that coverage be updated at least semi-annually to make sure there was no need for revision. And, he would extend the awareness to offspring and grandchildren so that the whole family – young as well as old – feel comfortable and safe.
Yes, the principles of safety apply to so many things today, it is difficult to determine where to leave off. Certainly Franklin would be concerned with the safety of our country. There are many forces that have designs on our way of life and the advantages we have accumulated over the centuries. He was there at the beginning in Philadelphia and realized the struggles that occurred in securing our way of life. He would be greatly interested in continuing the resolve to make our country strong and safe for those today as well as tomorrow.
Safety is not just a word, as he would point out, it is a way of life. It takes forethought and action to prevail. We can’t just let it be stationary. To survive and grow, we need to be active and resolved in our actions. We must learn from our past and preserve our future with the strength of commitment that has stood us in good stead for almost 250 years. Thanks….Ben!