A Sound Mind in a Sound Body: Another View on Insurance

By Scott A. Yeager, M.A.

We need only gaze into the night sky or into a flowing river to understand that our minds are powerful things.

About 2,600 years ago in the Greek town of Miletus, a pragmatic philosopher by the name of Thales declared that a sound mind in a sound body was the sum of all good things.

The quality of our lives is based, by and large, upon the decisions that we make. From the moment that we rise each day, we learn, leverage our experiences and apply new information toward improving our quality of life.

If we think of ourselves as the mind at work, we can also broaden our understanding of the body to those aspects of our lives beyond our physical form. After all, our lives and our well-being are not unidimensional.

While Thales is most remembered for his encouragement of others to “Know Thyself,” he lived in rather turbulent times and gained a unique perspective on matters that were and still are relevant to all people; he observed, “Hope is the most universal of human possessions.”

Hope is the currency that spends the world over; and, it is the bedrock principle upon which the modern insurance industry is constructed.

Our lives are complex. Beyond ourselves, we often have other people that we consider as vital or important to our lives. Some may even go so far as to suggest that someone else is their right hand or the leg that they stand on.

Thinking back to Thales’ concept, it is acceptable to view others as part of our body, an aspect of our lives that contributes to our health and well-being – something or someone who is as important to us as our own extremities.

Of course, we can employ the same logic with a home, the contents of that home, a vehicle, a pet, or anything that is near enough to our hearts to be considered essential to us and to the quality of our existence.

Human life is rough. We live in a hostile cosmos that does not play favorites. Catastrophes happen, those events that transform our lives, our bodies and our minds. Health insurance is considered to be as necessary as good food; it protects our health in mind and body.

It provides peace-of-mind if you get sick and cannot take care of yourself. But we just extended our notion of the body to include the people and things external to us that make us happy and add to our life’s meaning.

What about them? What if they are lost to us? Human life may be challenging at times, but there are preparations that people can make to help diminish risk.

In the face of natural forces or accidents, hope is – as Thales said – our most universal of possessions. In the face of catastrophic loss, you can have hope or you can have Hope.

The hope with a little “h” represents the inherent hope that we are all born with, call it the glass half-full outlook. This type of hope is great; however, it will not replace those things lost to powers beyond our control.

Enter hope with a capital “H.” This type of hope demonstrates that we sought fit to employ our minds toward the preservation or replacement of those aspects of our lives that we hold essential to our well-being.

Ask any well-read individual, and they will be quick to mention that there is a vast difference between thinking or feeling something and knowing.

A sound mind protects a sound body, that body being any aspect of our lives that we hold as dear to us as our own skin. A healthy individual protects their body and those things that matter to their quality of life.

Know thyself, and know the Hope that can await you on the other side of any catastrophe. Insurance is a way to maintain your body’s health and can improve your peace of mind.

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