Thursday, February 21, 2008

The purpose of living a longer life

Mr. and Mrs. Aawaraa always have disagreement on their desire for a long life. Mrs. is interested in all kinds of health related information, while Mr. has the Buddhist belief that living is painful process and only lucky person are given a sudden ending of their life, which is the minimum pain. We recently watched quite a lot of programs on air crash investigation in the National Geographic Channel. I am interested in the thrilling settings these programs created, while Mr. Aawaraa always regrets that he couldn't be that "lucky". Of course, there is always argument after his comment. It thus also bring me more seriously thinking about death and the reason for a long life.

Whenever I watch or read about the universe, it is a little discomfort to think about "I" in the universe: at most being a piece of sand in its history. Everyone will die, and the earth may die also one day. The desire of living is from the desire of happiness. Sometimes you are so happy or satisfied that you feel there is nothing to regret if you just die at the moment. You want to enjoy the happiness the life brings. Recently we watched a movie "Into the Wild", about a new college graduate who was troubled by his parents' relationship and the world. He left every one and started traveling alone to look for the meaning of life. His goal was to go to Alaska and live there by himself for several months. He learned his lesson at the end as he noted down in his book "Happiness needs to be shared", but it was too late for him to be able to save himself.

So, the desire to live, is actually originated from the connections you make in the society: those who you love, and those who loves you. That is the main reason that you feel you would want to live longer, and share the maximum time, and experiences with them. It will be ideal that a loving couple could die together. The one who dies earlier is the lucky one since the left-over pain might be unbearable to the other. I wonder whether a person without any relatives or friends in this world would care whether to live or die.

A friend's parents, in their 90s, were occasionally sad because of their friends' passing away. Her Dad plays Golf, and his playmates have changed several turns. It might be a complicated feeling when you are in that situation. Maybe that is the reason that people have their children, someone to love, to live longer.

Lots of efforts have been put on research on how to fight the aging, diseases so that people can live longer. Three towns with the most number of centenarians are investigated, and different reasons are i
dentified as the reasons for their old ages people.
OKINAWA, JAPAN: food varieties, and eating habit of 80% full;
OVODDA, SARDINIA: family long life gene preserved in close marriage;
LOMA LINDA, CALIFORNIA: faithful church goers.

It is still not sure what are the main reason but it is true that there are a series of reasons that contribute to a long life. You might learn from these researches how to live a longer life, by eating healthy and less, and living in communities with people. A longer life gives you longer time to experience and enjoy the happiness the life brings to you. We might not be lucky enough to be born in these lucky towns that have better environment for a longer life, but we always have the control in pursuing a happy life. It is possible that a life of 60 years can bring as much happiness as a life of 100 years. In that way, the number of years might not be as important as the amount of happiness in your life.

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