ProfS had done the vanishing act for a while. Now he is back asking some probing questions on whether a flight or fight response would be more appropriate for what the future holds.
Our basic nature lets us down.
Instincts honed over millenniums are a hindrance and not only that, those instincts are sometimes downright dangerous.
Take our fight or flight response. Given our current state of affairs, we may have to be tone such responses down if we are to live and let live.
What prompted this train of thought was a statement I read in a book (my apologies to the originator but I’m afraid I can’t remember where I read this):
Reading the above statement made me reflect on the danger of pursuing good health with a retinue of recurring tests. Isn’t that what the so-called healthcare industry advocates?
The danger here is not so much the probability of our falling ill. No. The danger may lie more in the cost and effort in pursuing the chance that there may be something wrong with our bodies. That chase to maintain ourselves may, in fact, kill us earlier than bad health if and when it happens.
All this also relates to ageing in modern times.
What will run out first – our money or our life?
Here is another statement I read (again, apologies to the author but I am afraid I can’t trace the book):
Of course there are too many pro and against arguments on this subject. But I ask you, what happens if you are still healthy and penniless? No house to stay in and no money to live on and all your faculties still intact.
The government that you have supported with your taxes all your working life does not have the means to look after you because it has no plan or law to help you.
Would euthanasia be the answer? What about those whose body still functions but the mind doesn’t or vice versa?
What about the responsibility of our progeny and to our progeny? We have to consider this because we may end up killing the living along with us by asking them to keep their life on hold for an ailing family member who is obviously a lost cause.
Society is going to face many questions that our morality and laws have no answers or code of conduct for.
I think that modern longevity is going to make us face some very tough choices and it’s time we opened the debate.
Let’s start here on this post. What do you think? Where are the answers? Are we burying our heads in the sand hoping the problem will take care of itself? It won’t, you know.
Author’s Note: If this post gave you food for thought, you might also like to read Being Mortal, Ageing is more than just a number and Angels with a stethoscope on Lata Wonders. If it is a more pressing question for you personally, may I suggest that your read Dr. Atul Gawande on the subject? His book is called Being Mortal – Medicine and What Matters in the End.
Featured Cover Image Credit: Smoking pipe 1 by Keith Williamson (Flickr.com CC By 2.0)