January 22, 2016

Live old is an instinct ...

Everyone wants to live old … really, as old as possible and there is nothing wrong with that … it is the natural instinct of survival since human walked on the earth.

In ancient times, people fight savagely against primeval beasts or in brutal primitive wars to stay alive but today people are more likely to depend on scientific methods to help them live older. Whether it is now or thousands of years ago, this same instinct of survival remains in us … it is just that the methods of trying to live for as long as possible changed over time.

Many would think or would like to think that living old means as they grow older, they will age gradually and gracefully. And then come the day when the time is up, they will just pass on naturally and peacefully in a comfortable process.

Errrrr … sorry, I have to pour cold water on that thought.

The sad fact is … out of the top 10 causes of death, 9 are directly related to serious illnesses … not that I want to play up the fear element here but these deaths don’t come comfortably.

Click to enlarge. Sourced from Internet.
Look, let’s face it … as we aged, we get more vulnerable to a host of deadly diseases. For a very large majority, contracting one of those diseases is almost confirmed … it is just a matter of when. Some people get it during midlife, others even earlier … the rest may avoid it for several more years but eventually it will come. And when it does, it is no longer about living old … it is about trying to stay alive.

So, looks like living old does not sound so good after all. Hey, I am not saying that we should not look forward to getting old, I am just pointing out the fact that living old comes with its perils.

Maybe the younger ones are not bothered to talk about this yet … they have plenty of time and plenty of things to do, so for now, they are more concerned about how to make a good life for themselves.

But for those who have stepped into the final few chapters of their lives, I believe they must have asked themselves what will it be like as they live older.

And here is my point of the story … really, there is nothing much about living old. It is just a natural process and an instinct to stay alive for as long as possible. So let’s not worry about living old. As we grow older, let’s think more about living well. And what is living well?

The way I see it, living well is about staying active and always eager to go. It is about spending time on yourself, your friends and your loved ones. It is about helping to contribute to the populace and making things easier for others. It is about continuing to learn more and passing on your knowledge. Last but not least, it is about making the world a better place for those to come.

I am sure you know what I am talking about and I am sure there are more that people can add to the ‘live well’ list. So, for as long as you can … every day, every week, every month, every year … try to live your life well. I believe with this, growing old can be a lot more meaningful.

Live old is an instinct … live well is a choice.