Whosoever wants to live a full and ripened age up to more than 100 better think twice. No, I am not advocating that one should just be contented to live while one looks good. Well, first because it is almost impossible to live long with all the chemicals, viruses, stress, climate changes, treacheries, crimes, violence challenging every fiber on one’s anatomy rendering the person more matured than what he should really be, it is practical to live on a daily basis instead.
There are ways to appreciate life from the standpoint of science, as there are ways also to facilitate it in the name of morals and technology. But what is clear is the fact that life belongs to the youth and living is a mere tussle for those who achieved a certain degree of maturity. Life is a gift for those born in the light of normalcy and almost a curse for those who live longer if only to suffer the limitations of their physical capabilities.
Alexander the Great died of malaria at the age of 26 after almost conquering the rest of the civilized world. Jesus of Nazareth died at the age of 33 after he was crucified for rebellion (although there were documentaries made on His life which revealed that He actually died at the full age of 89 in a remote area in France.) Philippine national hero, Jose Rizal died at the age of 33 after he was executed for subversion during the Spanish regime in his country. John Lennon died at the age of 40 when he was felled by an assassin’s bullet. So on and so forth. Their monuments would project a look attesting to their youthfulness because of their early deaths.
And there are those who departed at an advanced age. Philippine first President Emilio Aguinaldo could have been the National Hero but he lived long enough, he died at the age of 98, and in the course of his prolonged political exposure had committed a number of boo-boos. It reduced his stature and it further eroded his accomplishments. He passed away as if he never mattered at all on that generation he offered his youthful sacrifices on.
Whichever side a man is preordained, it is some kind of a manifest destiny. He may die shortly or live to a full age. He may have contributed much despite a shorter reign or may have bored everyone for a long time but that is how life is for everyone.
Sometime ago, scientists believed that ageing is a normal cycle. Latest discovery however revealed that ageing is a form of ailment. There is even a science that advances the idea that man will live forever.
This of course is predicated on the belief that science can overcome the numerous physical and viral challenges man faces in the course of his survival. Until such time that man can treat cancer and every untreatable disease, his stint on earth still hangs on the balance.
Ageing, while in itself is a fallacy of nature, still matters at all.