Saturday, December 16, 2006

Do you want to live to a hundred?

What is your immediate gut response? Is it any different once you've had a chance to reflect?

17 comments:

Mister Tim said...

No.

After reflection, maybe.

I hate to admit it, but my reasons for consideration are to do with quality of life - a large part of me feels that I'd rather be dead (to this world) rather than lose my mind, memory, hearing, ability to enjoy life. Of course, if I'm still going strong and glorifying and serving God, then that would be ok.

Joanna said...

My gut reaction...?

Yergh! Isn't this life hard enough without dragging on with it?

Past the point when most of your family and friends have died.

Past the point when your body begins to degenerate rapidly and if it weren't for the miracles of modern medicine, you'd be in pain most of the time.

More and more years without meeting the Master face to face?

A higher number doesn't necessarily equate to a higher quality.

On reflection...?

My gut reaction is in some ways selfish... but I don't think I'd change it. Especially not when I think about my grand parents, and the people my mum nurses daily... morbid though hey...

Ben Myers said...

Yes, definitely -- although 102 would be even better.

Michael Canaris said...

Since I've oft been sung this song, I suppose so.

Anonymous said...

No, and no, although I'm sure there'd be things to appreciate/be grateful for if I did.

Anonymous said...

i'm aiming for at least a hundred and twenty, so long as i'm still functioning. "I'd rather be dead..."

Anonymous said...

At least. I have too much to get finished without a long life. Which is why my New Year's resolutions are to lose weight (fewer beers, Mike), get my cholesterol tested, and return to my lapsed exercise routine. I'll be 45 in April and am only 1/2 way through writing my second book!! And, because I married and had kids later, my oldest is not yet 12! I have to live long!

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes and yes! Emphatically.

Ben Myers said...

Incidentally, my own great-grandmother, a Serbian farmer, was still busily and cheerfully working on her little farm until the day she died, aged 96.

Anonymous said...

No, No, a thousand times NO. However, longevity runs in my family. We have family members who have lived to 106 years of age. But for me, now way.

Anonymous said...

no

after reflection...no way

Niphal said...

Yes, but on further reflection do I have to pee in a bag?

Bill said...

Yes, as long you dear one make it to 104 : )

One of Freedom said...

Not really.

But after reflection, there is a lot I could do with a hundered years.

I am not real keen on having my life extended medically though - and I have an aversion to doctors. So if I make it past 90 it will be just cause I'm too stubborn to die naturally.

byron said...

Thanks for all these reflections - keep them coming. I asked the question because I was reading a book the other day that said that this question was often a good diagnostic question to check whether patients with serious illness have a secret deathwish (!) that might undermine their will to fight their sickness. Not saying that those who said 'no' fall into this category, but might be worth asking yourself...

And some specific replies:
• Michael C and H.Goldsmith - thanks for the links. Michael, I knew the Terry Pratchett Sto Lat, but not the Polish one! H.Goldsmith - unfortunately that link only works within the US.

• Michael W-W - best wishes with your resolutions!

• Ben - it figures. I'm sure you'll still be farming your little intellectual patch (i.e. most of western civilisation) at that age.

• T.B. Vick - hope you scored your family genes, despite your wishes.

• Niphal - if you make it to 100 you probably get to pee wherever you like.

• Bill - wouldn't that be grand! Congratulations on your first comment (I think?) - may there be many more in the days to come.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the good wishes on my resolutions, Byron. I had one friend tell me that my desire for longevity is a control issue. But I know and have accepted that no matter when I die my work will be unfinished. I have twice (that I know of) come very close to death. Most dramatically was in 1984 about this time of year when I was stabbed twice in a mugging. I tried then to trust in God for either life or death (it would have been easier if the ambulance dude had let me pray in peace, but he, trained to keep patience conscious en route to hospital, kept trying small talk and wanting me to keep my eyes open while I was trying to pray!!), but I was not finished with undergraduate work, hadn't yet found my future wife, etc. I knew I had much work to do.
I still do--and sometimes I worry that I haven't used the extra time given me as well as I should have. But no matter how much I accomplish, no life is long enough to finish what we need done.
So, the trick is to live in gratitude for each day we are given--we are not guaranteed any more. Sure, I share the fears of aging (especially Alzheimer's--physical restrictions aren't near as threatening)--and some of them are scarier than death for those of us who know the Lord of Life. But aging has to be faced with courage as much as death does. "Live fast, die young, and leave a good looking corpse" is just as pagan an outlook as clinging to physical "life" at all costs.

byron said...

"You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred." - Woody Allen