Food for Thought
Live as if you were to die tomorrow,
Learn as if you were to live forever.
--- Mahatma Gandhi
From the middle of life onward,
only he remains vitally alive
who is ready to die with life.
--- Carl Jung
Grow old with me,
the best is yet to come.
--- Robert Browning
not the longevity,
of one's life is what is important.
--- Martin Luther King
I died a mineral
and became a plant,
I died plant
and rose an animal,
I died an animal
and I was Man.
Why should I fear?
When was I less by dying?
TIME IS RELATIVE
Einstein was right - in this three dimensional plane we call our
Universe, time is relative. In fact, time is often referred to as the
fourth dimension. And being relative, time seems to move quicker as we age.
When we are young, time seems to go by slowly. We are not 6 years old, we are 6½.
We can hardly wait until we are 13 to be an "official" teenager. Sixteen takes forever
to come so we can drive a car and getting to be 21 to be viewed as an adult seems
All of a sudden, we hit 30 in a blink of an eye with 40 and 50 passing by at warp speed. Our
beautiful babies end up in college, married and have children of their own in the time
it takes to turn pages of a photo album. Time seems like a picture show flashing before our
eyes (and in reality, it is).
THE NORMAL AGING PROCESS
Aging is an unavoidable part of the human condition and there are a variety of things we
can expect to physically happen to us as we age:
- Cardiovascular System - our blood vessels become more rigid and clogged causing our
heart to work harder which increases potential hypertension, blood pressure, risk of cardiac
arrest, strokes, etc.
- Kidneys - we become less efficient at removing wastes.
- Urinary System - our bladders and the male prostrate become weaker.
- Brain - shrinks and neurons decrease causing short term memory difficulties, slower reflexes and reduced coordination.
- Eyes - our lens becomes thicker and we are more susceptible to far-sightedness cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration.
- Ears - hearing loss becomes more common.
- Taste - there is usually some deterioration in taste bud cells
and our ability to detect the four primary tastes (sweet, sour,
salty and bitter) decreases.
- Skin - loses elasticity, thickness and oil content.
- Hair - rate of growth decreases and hair loss increases.
- Sleep - we tend to require less sleep, are up more often during the night and may have more disturbed sleep.
- Obesity - becomes more common increasing the risks of cancer, heart disease,
- Height - both our standing and sitting height decreases as we
age beginning in males around 40 and females around 43.
WHY DO WE AGE ?
Scientifically there is what is called the Hayflick Limit which says our cells have a
limited capacity for dividing (growing).
It has been shown that if we take fetal lung tissue and put it in a laboratory dish,
the cells will subdivide (grow). If we then take two samples from the
dish and put them in two new dishes, they too will continue to subdivide (grow). The problem
comes in around the 50th time we repeat the process - at some point the cells stop dividing (growing).
As time progresses, some of our human cells start to mutate and our
protein molecules start containing errors which are no longer self
correcting (earlier in life, mutations are often self correcting).
From a clinical perspective, physical death is the beginning of the irreversible
deterioration of our bodies. So, to some degree, we are dying from the
moment we are born. We biologically die in bits and pieces.
From a practical perspective, we physically die when we experience brain
death which is the death of our human organism as a whole.