On Living and Dying

July 17, 2016

Perhaps you have seen the new bestseller by Anderson Cooper, co-written with his 91-year-old mother, Gloria Vanderbilt. On the cover, Gloria looks like Anderson’s younger sister, with her brown bob and plump smooth cheeks. The photo was obviously taken through a few layers of nylon stocking, as well as Photoshopped. In the book, Gloria admits to “greed for beauty,” that has taken her to the plastic surgeon’s office a few times.

 

In America, many have a “greed for beauty,” as well as “greed for youth.”

 

An 85-year-old friend of mine laments her aching legs and reduced energy level, but what really bothers her is the medical staff saying, “Well, you are getting older, you know.” She asks me, “Why?” meaning, why must we age, or, really, why must we die?

 

That Fountain of Youth

 

Ponce de Leon searched for the Fountain of Youth and humans have long sought to live forever and rid their lives of death.

 

Scientists today study the aging process and look for a “cure” that would stop humans from growing old. Did you ever think about the consequences, if those scientists succeed in finding a “cure” for old age?

 

There Will be Consequences

 

Right now, since we die, we try to leave an inheritance for our loved ones. We may even pre-plan our funeral.

 

We think about getting rid of things, because “You can’t take them with you.”

 

We stop going to Home Shows--in fact, we seldom shop, unless we buy something on QVC out of boredom, and then regret it later.

 

If we never died, we wouldn’t need to create a “bucket list” and try to cram a lot of living and traveling into our 70-90 years.

 

Would there be Grandmas?

 

There would be no more “cleaning out Grandma’s attic.” Wait a minute. Would there be grandmas? I followed this train of thought down the rabbit hole.

 

There would still be babies and immature humans who need to grow to adulthood. Would that be to age 21 and then everyone stops aging?  I don’t like that idea.  I don’t think I was very adult at age 21. How about age 35? Perhaps we would all grow to age 35 and then stay there…..forever.

 

Of course, we would still be of childbearing age at 35. This means our parents and grandparents, who stopped aging at age 35, could still be having children.  Imagine your parents, grandparents, great grandparents, great- great grandparents, ad infinitum, are ALL still living and remaining at the perfect age of 35. No more researching your geneology….just give great-great-great-grandma a call.

 

No More Retirement?

 

No more senior housing. No more “The Villages” of Florida or Del Webb Communities in Arizona. What would happen to the cosmetics industry? Would there even be retirement? Social Security? Imagine working every day of your life, with no end in sight to pursue hobbies and other leisure activities.

 

Our Founding Fathers Are Still Around

 

George Washington is still alive and looks like he’s 35? At least he can get more comfortable false teeth now and advise the Presidential candidates on proper decorum. Thomas Jefferson is still here…he can tell us if the Constitution should be considered a living document or interpreted from an “originalist” standpoint. We could go right to the source in our discussion of the Second Amendment Right to Bear Arms.

 

Can you imagine the population problem this planet would have? Does living forever apply to animals as well? I am sorry, but humans would no longer be “top dog.” Either cats or rabbits would be the alpha animals.

 

Moses as a Young Man?

 

So if we don’t grow old and die, would there still be other deaths, due to disease or murder?  I guess the organism could be slain, but it just couldn’t grow old. That means Jesus would still have been crucified, but Moses might still be alive. He wouldn’t be the old man he was in the movie “The Ten Commandments,” though….could you picture Moses without that long Charleston Heston beard? 

 

Unfortunately, there could still be terrorists and fanatics who murder innocent people to promote their ideology.

 

Books would have new titles like, “How to Live a Meaningful Life….Forever.” Who would care? Life goes on forever, so you always have “tomorrow” to do something meaningful.

 

A Startling Conclusion

 

It’s a bit mind boggling to think of life without death. It appears death is what gives life meaning, not the other way around

 

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