The Core Value of Health

I recently had a cup of coffee at a cafe waiting for a colleague. Next to me in the cafe sat a very well-dressed but unhappy and exhausted man. Slender with a slight belly, he appeared to be in his eighties and had tremendous difficulty breathing. When his newspaper slipped from the table, and I picked it up for him, our conversation began.

He was visiting his doctor at a local hospital. The implication being he had doctors in several cities because he had a host of health problems. The pack of Marlboros underneath his gold cigarette lighter was my first clue. My second was the prescription drug containers standing guard next to his glass of water. Third was the bandage on his purple-blotched hand, the mark left by a recent blood test, I guessed.

“I’d give anything to go for a long walk with my daughter,” he lamented, looking at his Patek Philippe watch that might have cost a hundred grand. I asked if she was travelling with him. No, he replied, “She’s still in school.” I later learned he meant secondary school. She was still a teenager. He was not in his eighties. He was fifty-five.

Health is the first luxury, and a Core Value of Old Money. Prioritize it.


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