I am told my blog might get wider traction if I talked more about how to reach the age of 92 with few afflictions.
I choose not to do so.
Advice, apparently, is popular. People are addicted to it: How to raise your kids, make money, lose weight etc. There is a firm belief that it can all be achieved if only some guru shows us the way. Naturally modern day snake oil providers have seized this concept and are running with it. On television, thin, earnest, hypnotic, they preach their gospel with compelling sincerity and conviction.
Good health is a favorite topic. No lies are told. Eat salmon, berries, whole wheat bread almonds etc. Avoid donuts, fast food, sweet beverages. This is usually followed by a demonstration of how their magic formula must be ingested for maximum benefit. It is accompanied by booklets, CDs, DVDs… all the usual paraphernalia of serious advertising. Examples of people who have turned their lives around are described in detail. These concoctions will probably not harm you and might do you some good, but you must reach for your credit card first. The audience nods, smiles, watches with rapt attention as if the gates of Heaven were slowly opening.
So why would I not want to join their ranks and tell people how to grow old while remaining young? Because life comes without guarantees or owners’ manuals. No one can tell you how to live it. Sometimes people show you how by example but it is usually unintentional.
We tend to dismiss the role of luck in our lives… that ingredient that sneaks in when we are not looking. I know a woman in her eighties who did everything right. She and her husband biked everywhere, hiked vigorously and exercised daily. Today she has severe osteoporosis and can barely walk. Another friend had a very responsible job. She read a lot, loved the ballet and opera and was a great conversationalist. She is now also in her eighties, has the beginning of Alzheimer’s and lives in a mental fog.
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