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Prevention Is Better Than Cure


Prevention is better than cure is an old English adage. It is used to signify the fact that it is invariably less costly and advantageous to take proactive actions to stop an undesirable or bad situation or circumstance from arising than looking for solutions when the undesirable has occurred. Another English adage that means virtually the same thing is; a stitch in time saves nine.

Different Contexts in which this Adage is Applicable

Prevention is better than cure is a practical expression of wisdom which finds application in numerous areas of human existence. Let’s take a look at the following two scenarios that find relevant application for this age old adage:

Healthy Living as Against Huge Medical Costs and Debilitating Illnesses

It is a common knowledge that the best way to prevent some illnesses when an individual attains middle or old age is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Many of the devastating diseases that ravage the world’s population are preventable. The problem has to do with the unhealthy lifestyles adopted by many of the world’s population. These have to do with poor or unhealthy diets, lack of regular or adequate exercise, substance abuse and unhygienic living. The end result is that the world is being ravaged by all manner of pernicious illnesses such as various types of cancers that could have been prevented. Governments and individuals all over the world spend trillions of dollars on medical care arising from the incidence of these preventable diseases. The money cost is quite separate from the terrible toll these diseases have on the victims and their families. Quite simply put, the adoption of healthy lifestyles is far better than attempting to cure preventable diseases once they have arisen.

Proper and timely management of Societal Conflicts

Many of the internal conflicts that devastate many nations of the world are traceable to social issues and problems that were left unattended to or inadequately addressed on time. Issues such as social injustice, social inequality, segregation, marginalization, disenfranchisement and corruption provide a fertile ground for the rise of rebellions and armed insurgencies in many parts of the world. Some ruling governments have already found to their consternation that once activated, social conflicts are not easy to deal with. The result is that many lives are lost, property and infrastructure are destroyed and masses of the people are displaced during protracted social conflicts. If the principles of negotiation, social reconstruction and social inclusion had been practiced, some of these armed rebellions and insurgencies would not have risen in the first place. When society-induced armed conflicts eventually come to an end, the reconstruction of devastated cities and towns as well as the reconciliation and healing of emotional and psychological injuries is usually very costly and time consuming. Surely, prevention is better than cure.