Man skal få sig nogle laster, mens man er ung og kan holde til det. Så har man noget at give afkald på, når sygdom og alderdom rammer.
Sundhed er den nye religion, og den har magtfulde missionærer. Ditten og datten er syndigt, og retter vi ikke ind, skal apostlene nok styre vores adfærd med regler, afgifter og mobning.
Ingen synes længere at tænke på helbredsværdien af dårlige vaner. Mark Twain beskrev den ellers i ”Following the Equator”.
Engang led han forfærdeligt af lumbago. Lægen gav op, men Twain helbredte sig selv ved kun at indtage vand i to dage og forsage alle laster som cigarer, whisky, kaffe, te og mad.
Derefter kunne han genoptage alle sine dårlige vaner. Twain fortsætter:
“It seemed a valuable medical course, and I recommended it to a lady. She had run down and down and down, and had at last reached a point where medicines no longer had any helpful effect upon her. I said I knew I could put her upon her feet in a week.
It brightened her up, it filled her with hope, and she said she would do everything I told her to do. So I said she must stop swearing and drinking, and smoking and eating for four days, and then she would be all right again. And it would have happened just so, I know it; but she said she could not stop swearing, and smoking, and drinking, because she had never done those things. So there it was. She had neglected her habits, and hadn’t any. Now that they would have come good, there were none in stock. She had nothing to fall back on. She was a sinking vessel, with no freight in her to throw overboard and lighten ship withal. Why, even one or two little bad habits could have saved her, but she was just a moral pauper. When she could have acquired them she was dissuaded by her parents, who were ignorant people though reared in the best society, and it was too late to begin now. It seemed such a pity; but there was no help for it. These things ought to be attended to while a person is young; otherwise, when age and disease come, there is nothing effectual to fight them with.”
En forfriskende historie, når man dagligt må drible uden om helsespalternes sundhedsrøgelse. Following the Equator og andre værker af Mark Twain kan downloades gratis fra gutenberg.org med risiko for motion af lattermusklerne.