Living long appears to be hardwired into our genetics. Even non-human animals, even seemingly unthinking insects, flee or fight in the face of demise. But when faced with the inevitable, most creatures lay down and acquiesce.
The Hebrew scriptures, in the earliest genealogies, list people as living hundreds of years. Scholars, and those wanting some kind of work-around, have devised a multitude of ways to square up these biblical timelines with modern lifespans. But any reading of these early books makes it clear that the writers and readers, lived just as you or I. They knew what food was, they knew how to make babies, and they knew about death. In other words, they knew how the physical world worked. Were they lying? Making it up? Or did they believe that men lived to almost a thousand years?
I like the idea that scriptures aren’t meant to tell a literal story but, instead, tell us important things about humanity and G. This explanation appeals to both the scientist in me and to the religious. This, of course, opens up the entire Hebrew and Christian pantheon to interpretation when compared to moderns.
Only once was I ready to shake my mortal coil. I was in the hospital after a nasty accident and suffered from a Traumatic Brain Injury. I was sure that the hospital was secretly trying to do away with me to make space for other patients. I don’t know why. The brain is an odd bedfellow. I was at ease with dying – I didn’t care if I lived or died – but I was physically saddened to know my wife and young girls would come to see me in the morning only to find me gone with the hospital shrugging their shoulders. “What? Who? Dennis Mitton? We have no one by that name in our records…”
So, here’s an old post from another blog. It’s a short compendium of articles about living long, living well, and enjoying the journey.
From The New York Times. An interesting article about enjoying life more as you grow older – once you come to terms with growing older. The closer people come near to 100, the more satisfied they seem to be. Find out why here. Good read.
Here Dr. David Katz blogs about what he calls lifestyle medicine. I call it living a healthy and enjoyable and long life. I like his approach to health – very anti-fad and very pro what-your-grandmother-taught-you. And all science. I apologize beforehand that the article is at the Huffpost.
See his book Disease Proof here at Amazon.
Go here to read a very good Time Magazine collection of articles titled How to Live to 100. Excellenté!
And finally, just to make you mad and to show you that life is not fair, here is a BBC article that asks the question “Who, What, Why: How is Keith Richards Still Alive? Read here.
Lastly, one of my favorites. Healthy Aging by Anthony Weil.
The take home message is that we have so much within our reach to help us live a healthy and happy and long life. Real food. Movement. Relationships and laughing. Good work. Good reading. Sacraments. Enjoy them all today and count how many ways they will repay you.
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