Thursday, 4 August 2011


The medical field has vastly grown in the past two centuries. There have been quantum leaps in curative medicine ditto preventive and alternative medicine. These changes have lead to an increase in life expectancy. Indeed, one Audrey de Grey a biomedical gerontologist postulates that there is a chance ageing could be brought under decisive medical control. He predicts that quarter a century from now a million centenarians will be part of the world’s populace. Keen followers of his longevity research have even theorized that at the current rate of medical advancement the first individual to live a thousand years might be born in about a half century!

A hundred years is a long time to live. A person has to endure a lot if they intend to live actively up to that age. By the time multiple joint replacements, dentures, grafts, implants, plastic surgery, prosthetic devices, hormone therapy, a crazy diet and a third leg (walking cane) get you to a hundred years plus you will be half man half machine. Seventy and a few extra years sounds reasonable enough. In fact here is one wise man's take on the life expectancy matter:

In the beginning, the creator made man and gave him thirty years to live. He then made a donkey to help him with work and a dog to protect him and bestowed thirty years to each. He gave them the world as a home and told them to make the best of their years on earth.

Soon after creation however, the donkey came back to the Creator with a problem. He complained that thirty years were too many to toil for man and asked the Creator to reduce his life span. The donkey requested for ten years only. When the Creator asked him whom the donkey wanted the other twenty years to be given, the donkey answered man. After all man didn’t labor as hard, he enjoys his time on earth while the donkey does all the work.

After the donkey left, the dog came to see the creator requesting for an age decrease as well. His reason was that sleeping outside in the cold for thirty years was too much for him. Ten years serving man as a guard was all he could handle. He then offered his other twenty years to man and the Creator consented to this.
Man was therefore endowed with a total of seventy years. His first thirty years are meant for him to find his dreams, establish his life and know his purpose. When he gets to donkey’s twenty years, he will have to work hard for his family. His children will grow, he will kick them when they fail to tow the line and it will be his duty to provide. Lastly, the dog’s twenty years are his final. His children will be grown, and he will lose control over them. They will pet him and he will only be able to bark at them when they go wrong. Security for the future of his family will be his concern before he leaves earth.

After that frailness will kick in. Weak and unable to fend for himself the man will fall under the care of his children or a home for the elderly. Unless he is willing to walk the medical path of longevity, the fullness of life gradually fades away and the wait for the next phase begins. It hence follows that seventy healthy years a man is given, more than that is merely a blessing.

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