There is a grand illusion to us mere mortals that most of us grow to a ripe old age, and we lose a few along the way. Many perhaps do live into their eighties and nineties….but realistically, are the percentages based on fact, or fiction?
I recently had a conversation with a neighbor of mine who shared with me an interesting experience of hers. She attended her 25th High School Reunion where she had a graduating class of 125 classmates, and was shocked to find out that 25 years later, half of the class was deceased. That’s right….only 62 were still alive! She thought about her graduation day when the principal of the school gave an incredible speech on how they all should strive to the limits and climb the mountain of success. In reflection, she said to me, “Jennifer, one little part the principal left out was that in hindsight, he should have told us to put a little time aside each day for staying alive!” President Bush recently turned 60, and a reporter mentioned that over one third of the people born on that day never made it to 60. In my area, I read that a local baby boomers group got together and celebrated the fact that many of them would be retiring next year at 62. What shocked them was also the amount of boomers their age that never made it…one wrote, “Thank God we’re still here.”
So how many of us truly live to a ripe old age? Is it as many as we think? Or is it “Survival of the Fittest?” One thing’s for sure, as busy as our days may be, if we plan to be around for the long haul we’re going to have to find some valuable time to put aside for our maintenance and well -being. If it’s good for the car, it’s good for us!
As I was thinking about this essay over the past couple of days, it was quite interesting that every day I was coming across stories on the subject matter of life and longevity…some of which I was surprised at. Did you know that more people worldwide commit suicide then the amount of people who die from murder and war? I didn’t! As much as we like to think we are indestructible, Life has a strange way of reminding us that we are all just flesh and bones.
I don’t find the truth depressing…because after all, it’s what we don’t know that can hurt us. We are born on this planet and we need food, clothing, and shelter to survive. That’s the physical part…..spiritually we need Love. Everything after that is gravy, totally created by humanity…money, transportation, jobs, etc. Many spend their lives accumulating material goods until one day they realize, do I really need all this junk? when I just need a little to make me happy? Accidents may happen every day….but we have to stay fit physically and spiritually to survive.
Grow old along with me,
love, Jennifer Avalon
© 2006 Jennifer Avalon