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1 Many people say that there are things more important than money: They announce that they would rather have their health; they praise the blessings of peace among men, and they claim that the love of their families is a wealth beyond compare.
2 aBut surely they are missing the point: Do they not know that everything does not always go well just because you have no money?
3 Who is there who can guarantee health? The strongest man can break a leg and be laid up for months, while his wife and children whimper with hunger.
4 bAnyone can catch a terrible disease: How many people have perished from yellow fever, and scarlet fever, and the black death, and from typhoid, and even common ills like colds, pneumonia, influenza, and piginosis?
5 Are there not more diseases than you can shake a pointed stick at? Do they not all require treatment in hospitals, and medication, and the attention of doctors?
6 cAnd how many doctors will then proclaim that the man who is rich because he has the love of his family can pay his medical bills with the kisses of children? This is simply not the way things go.
7 Nor can anyone guarantee peace among men: Which of you has not seen the amazing variety of weapons that can be used to shatter peace?
8 dI myself have seen weapons without end; formerly, there were bows and arrows, and swords, and battle axes, all capable of causing dreadful wounds and death.
9 eMore recently, there have been even more terrible weapons: Man in his cleverness has invented rifles, and cannons, and artillery shells that kill from miles away, as well as fpoison gas, and bombs that fall from the air.
10 gNor can anyone name a weapon which has never been used to inflict injury on the enemy: The number of wars which have been fought by men is without number, endless as the number of stars in heaven.
11 hWhere will the man be who trusts in peace, and has no money, when the war bugle sounds again? iSurely, he will be marooned upon a river of excrement, with no oar to row his way to safety.
12 Fine words do not buy passports or exit visas; jthe love of peace does not prevent your family from becoming refugees when the enemy comes, and flattens your whole neighborhood.
13 And what good does it do to have a loving family, when the whole family is without a house, and has influenza to boot? Is this the happiness that makes you disdain the glitter of gold coins?
14 kOr will those coins not seem to shine like the sun itself on the day when health and peace and love all have their hands out? For nothing is more constant on earth than the gleam of gold, unless it is the constancy of the fool who prefers to be poor.