Philosophy: The Ambulance Down in the Valley

Twas a dangerous cliff as they'll frankly confess, 

though to walk near its crest was so pleasant. 

But over its terrible edge there had slipped 

a duke and full many a peasant. 


So the people said something would have to be done, 

but their projects did not at all dally. 

Some said put a fence around the edge of the cliff. 

Some; put an ambulance down in the valley. 


Well the cry for the ambulance carried the day, 

for it spread through the neighboring city. 

A fence may be useful or not so they say, 

but each heart became brimful of pity. 


For those who had slipped over the dangerous cliff 

and dwellers on highway and in alley, 

gave pounds and pence not to put up a fence, 

but an ambulance down in the valley. 


For the cliff is alright if you're careful they say, 

and even if folks slip and are dropping, 

it isn't the slip that hurts them so much, 

as the shock down below when they're stopping. 


So day after day as those mishaps occurred 

quick forth would the rescuers sally. 

To pick up the victims who fell off the cliff 

with the ambulance down in the valley. 


Then an old sagery mark 'tis a marvel to me 

that people give far more attention, 

to repairing the results, than to stopping the cause, 

when they'd much better aim at prevention. 


"Let us stop at the source of the mischief," cried he, 

"come neighbors and friends let us rally." 

"If the cliff we would fence, 

we could almost dispense, 

with the ambulance down in the valley." 


Oh he's a fanatic the others rejoined, 

dispense with the ambulance never! 

He'd dispense with old charity too if he could. 

No, we'll support them forever. 


Aren't we picking them up as fast as they fall? 

Shall he dictate to us? Shall he? 

Why should people with sense, 

stop to put up a fence, 

when an ambulance awaits in the valley. 



I came across this poem shortly after my father died due to heart disease. It really touched me because of the attitude that my dad had towards eating and exercise. He thought that the doctors would just perform an operation or two and he would be as good as new. Unfortunately for him, nothing could have been further from the truth! 

The old cliche' "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is true for everyone. Our health is our most valuable asset and yet it seems to also be our most abused asset as well. A healthy diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and the absence of processed food is absolutely necessary. An average of only 30 minutes of exercise every day is a great start and a prescription to building a strong fence around that cliff protecting you from disease. 

Exercise can be really fun and healthy eating can be really delicious! I challenge you to make health a priority in your life and start building up that fence of health today.