Thousands of lives are lost annually from diseases which could have been prevented. Hundreds of thousands, because of some preventable ailment, which partially or totally incapacitates them, are today living only a small part of their lives. Millions of dollars yearly are squandered on medicines, doctors and undertakers—much of which might have been saved by a right knowledge of the laws of health and hygiene.
Even among the comfortably situated, or even well-to-do, robust, vigorous health is the rarest of possessions. The most rugged-looking, on being closely and sympathetically catechised, will admit to a "touch of rheumatism"; a chronic stomach, liver, or kidney trouble; nervousness, headaches, neuralgia, constipation, or something that tends to prevent his attaining completest physical power and mental efficiency. And the weaker sex more than justify their descriptive adjective. For 80% of those not directly under a physician's care, or taking some medicine or form of treatment for something, should be.
Conditions are improving, however. There is a dawn of hope for humanity. For good health is being made a fetish. It is becoming a gospel—a gospel preached in schools, newspapers, magazines, churches and theatres. Accurate knowledge concerning sanitation, sexology, food, clothing, exercise, sleeping, resting, and all hygienic measures, is becoming more and more widely disseminated.
Humanity is awakening to the fact that sickness, in a large percentage of cases, is an error—of body and mind. Ignorance of the injurious effects of wrong foods, drinks, habits and methods is gradually being overcome.
Foremost among those engaged in educating the public away from paths of ignorance, and the disastrous consequences of this ignorance, is the medical fraternity. The noblest and most self-sacrificing profession on earth is the one most industriously engaged in sawing the branch between itself and the tree of Financial Gain.