Health is Wealth: Proverb Meaning and Expansion of idea


The proverb ‘Health is Wealth’ obviously relates to the wealth that a person can accumulate to his or her health. In other words, the phrase indicates that if one is healthy, there is a tremendous possibility if assimilating wealth through hard work and labor. But, on the other hand, if a person is not in good health, then his chances of working and amassing wealth becomes very bleak. So, the bottom line is that if you want to be wealthy you have got to stay healthy in the first place.

Expansion of idea

The proverb ‘health is wealth’ is a proverb that very wisely teaches us that we can possess all the materialistic materials, money, that we desire, only when we are healthy.

Health gives you the strength to work hard and achieve everything you ever wanted. On the other hand, if you are not healthy, but weak and frail, it would be really difficult for you to work and make your dreams come true.

In other contexts, it also means that wealth has no significance at all if one is not healthy. Just imagine if you have all the wealth in the world. You can eat even the costliest food in the costliest restaurant, but your health didn’t allow you that! What a tragedy it would be. Wouldn’t at that moment you wished to forsake your wealth for your favorite food. This exactly what the phrase ‘health is wealth’ tries to teach us.

Short Stories on ‘Health is Wealth’

Stories are the best way to understand a moral value and its significance. The same applies to phrases as well. A well written short story with the theme ‘health is wealth’ will help you understand the true meaning of the phrase.

Short Story 1

Once there was a man named Ralph. He was a very talented and hard-working employee of a law firm. It was routine for him to get the best employee award every year. He had been in the firm for around ten years. Ralph and his family were very happy with his promotions and increments. But there was another side of the story also. In his want to move above the corporate ladder, Ralph had hugely compromised his health for years. He skipped lunch to attend board meetings; worked late hours at night, often skipping dinner.

It so happened that one day he got so ill that he can’t even move on his own. He went to a doctor who suggested immediate hospitalization. The reason was an intestinal ulcer that has developed due to his irregular food habits for years. Ralph was in the hospital for over a month. Also, he had to spend a good amount of money that he had accumulated in all these years. When he was discharged from the hospital there was something that he couldn’t forget. He told his friend that the wall in front of his hospital bed, had a calendar, on which, written in bold characters were three words – “HEALTH IS WEALTH!” Indeed, he thought Ralph and vowed never to neglect his own health ever.

Short Story 2

There was a boy living in a mediocre town. He was very good at studying and always wanted to become a doctor. He was so devoted to his studies and preparations that he often skipped meals, despite the insistence of his mother to not do so.

He had to appear in a medical entrance exam one day. He was so engrossed in preparations that for almost a week before the exams, he stopped eating properly.

Though his parents were worried, he wasn’t. He thought that skipping meals will give him more time for the preparation. The day came. As usual, his mother insisted that he leave for the examination center only after breakfast. As usual, the lad brushed aside his mother’s very reasonable request and rushed to the center.

The sun was unusually hot that day and the boy took a bus for half an hour’s drive. But half an hour seems too long for him to bear. Suddenly he started feeling weak a fainted on the bus.

Subsequently, he was picked up by a police van and dropped home. He also couldn’t appear for the exam he had been preparing for almost a year. He was speechless and heartbroken.

However, his parents were supportive and motivated him to try again. He was a changed boy. He studied with the same zeal but now he was also eating healthy.

He appeared in the exam, the next year and got selected. He was so happy! When he got the results, he could hear the words of his father that the latter had said after his first failure. His father had said – Remember son health is the greatest wealth that you can have.


Below given are a few examples of sentences with the right use of the phrase ‘health is wealth’, to make you better understand the different contexts in which the phrase can be used.

“John you must take care of your health first, after all, health is wealth.”

“I think that the company needs to also think about the health of its employees apart from worrying about the profits. After all, they can only work when they are healthy!”

“There is no point in doing business by compromising your health because a wise man once said that health is wealth.”

“Farmers are able to work in fields because their bodies are strong and healthy; indeed, health is wealth.”

“Anyone in a sorry state of health cannot accumulate wealth because he can’t work” – health is wealth!


The phrase “Health is Wealth” was first used by Ralph Waldo Emerson, an American essayist, and philosopher who lived during the 19th century.

He used the phrase in the context of the American people, stating that health is of utmost importance than wealth and it true sense health is only the real wealth of a person.

However, what Emerson wrote in one of his works in 1860 wasn’t exactly ‘health is wealth’; nevertheless, it had exactly the same meaning. What he wrote was – “The first wealth is health”.

It is evident that Emerson signified health over wealth and believed that it is the true wealth a person can possess.

With the passage of time, the phrase was simplified a little; though, the meaning almost remained the same.

Today, the widely used phrase ‘health is wealth’ is nothing but only the simplified form of what Emerson wrote in 1860 – “The first wealth is health”.


The phrase ‘Health is Wealth’ is a very important phrase, considering that it tells us about the true wealth of life. The true wealth of life is indeed health. If a person is in good health then only he/she would be able to work and look after his loved ones.

In today’s competitive environment, we often neglect our health and join the rat race to get wealthier than any other person we know. It’s a blind race because ultimately, when you lose your health you will also either lose your wealth or it becomes insignificant. Wouldn’t that be saddening and depressing; therefore, it the health that we must prioritize. If we are healthy, accumulating wealth is only a matter of time.