Just read an amazing poem that someone was translating on the fly about the processing of aging. I haven’t heard too many encapsulate the process as well as the writer did. I asked if they could spend time and literally give a text translation so I can send it to others to enjoy.
I didn’t have any subject or thought, but I guess the topic today is something that has been on the back burner for the past few weeks. That of how our the wonderful technologies of the future will allow most to live a longer life – yet – will it actually be a higher quality of life?
In past missives, I mentioned that many times, the elder patient is ready to die. Usually they simply stop eating, and prepare themselves to move from this world to whatever lies beyond it. Some people say there is nothing, others, believe it is a timeless journey to infinity.
What I have seen in hospitals with many people who are old and ready to die is that it is the family members left behind, having to face their own mortality, that pay and push to have doctors do anything to keep someone alive. IT is a noble ideal, to fight for the value of life – yet, only god and the person knows the actual motive, fear or love for “why?” they sometimes put up this insane fight.
In Switzerland they have a group where you are allowed end your life. Forgive me if the information isn’t spot on, but I think if you have a terminal illness, you are allowed to terminate your life. The rule is you have to be the person to actually push the button to let the drugs that stop your life into your system – another person can’t do it.
When I was a kid, an old man was 62. There was this trend where I saw people work for the ability to retire, then get to retire, and either they were so lost without an identity outside of work? Or their bodies simply gave out? The retirement years were not very long, or enjoyable for man.
Today, I think people can easily live to be 90. My one side of the family had really brilliant minds in uncle mike, a college professor. He astounded me with the clarity of his mind in conversation, even though his body was pretty much in shambles.
In the next 30-40 years, there is the idea of the singularity with humanity where machine and man will come together – and you will be able to fabricate new body parts, have drugs to not only “cope” with a disease, but cure them. You will have genetic markers and modification that can stop the disease even before it is born. I am not sure where cancer works into it all, as current day research is guessing that 50-70% of cases really are unknown with where and what caused the mutation.
Last evening, I got to see the “theory of everything” about Dr. Steven Hawking in English. Even though I am supposed to learn German, I requested the English show so I could understand what was being said. It was a touching movie with a remarkable story of one man’s life, and the trials and tribulations of living with a brilliant mind, inside of a body that basically is destroying itself.
Then, I sat with my wife’s aunt and her mom for Fondue. I have two nephews, David and Romero who alone are like to normal mischevious young kids. But when you put the two of them together, you basically have all you need to fabricate a very unstable substance of nitroglycerine inside two boys. It leads to kids fabricating the stupidity of youth by not really thinking through events when one might ask, “what do you think will happen if we do this?”
Tonte Cece is an elderly woman who I looked at last night and recognized a lot of my own grandmother on my moms side. “It is a bit sad that my grandma is still not with us, because I would love to put you and her in the same room. I wager we would get David & Romero in an elderly form.”
She took it as a compliment, and then explained a story of how she felt bad for riding a bus and not paying for it. Here she was 80 years old, and when she visited her friend in a town, she forgot buses ran only once an hour on Sunday. So she and a bunch of people were waiting in the cold and storm. Finally, she thought, “this is ridiculous, I am cold.” So she got on the bus heading the wrong direction. The bus driver asked her why?
“I am going far away, but we are all cold out there, I just want to get warm.” I guess she drove around with the bus until it came back to the stop where all the same people she had left 30-40 minutes earlier were still standing and cold.
“I felt a bit guilty that I rode around on a bus, but darn it, I was cold.”
There is something about age, where you get a pass for being old in life. If you have actually lived, usually you will go through periods of great highs and lows in life. As you age, more and more makes sense from what you used to think. I guess that is called wisdom? You start really looking inside yourself more and not at the flaws of everyone else.
I have to find a little pirate hat to get Tonte Cece – as I smiled when she told the story, “you mischievous pirate!” About her wild adventure on the bus. She looked at me with eyes much like my grandma and let out a sly smile, “thank you. But really I was cold!”
If one could have a decent body and mind to walk around into the expanding age limits of the future, I am all for it. Someone has to get me to believe that the few at the top really will want good for all without profit of money as the main motivation.
I think a simpler reason that it would be good business to help all should be the foundation for aging. Until then, i will try to get that poem translated into English for you to enjoy.