Lifespan - Why We Age and Why We Don’t Have To


How much do I want to read more? 7/10

The point is not only to live longer, but without the aging disabilities. Just like we used to think we cannot live longer than 50, then 60, it might become the norm to live over 100.
I'm intrigued to read on. I'm sure we can influence our longevity with the way we live every day, every moment.


INTRODUCTION

There were lots of kids in the northern suburbs of Sydney who shared my love of adventure and exploration and imagination. We expect this of children. We want them to play this way.
Until, of course, they’re “too old” for that sort of thing. Then we want them to go to school. Then we want them to go to work. To find a partner. To save up. To buy a house.
My grandmother was the first person to tell me that it didn’t have to be that way.
Six, she told us, was the very best age.
She told me to enjoy my youth, to savor the feeling of being young. Adults, she said, always ruined things.

Growing old may seem a distant event, but every one of us will experience the end of life. After we draw our last breath, our cells will scream for oxygen, toxins will accumulate, chemical energy will be exhausted, and cellular structures will disintegrate. A few minutes later, all of the education, wisdom, and memories that we cherished, and all of our future potential, will be irreversibly erased.

Between 5 and 7, however, all children come to understand the universality of death. Every family member will die. Every pet. Every plant. Everything they love. Themselves, too.

in the film Dead Poets Society, who challenges his teenage students to stare into the faces of the long-dead boys in a fading photo.
“They are not that different from you, are they?” Keating says. “Invincible, just like you feel. . . . Their eyes are full of hope . . . But you see, gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils.”
he whispers, “Carpe. Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary.”

Do your part to make humanity be the best it can be. Don’t waste a moment. Embrace your youth; hold on to it for as long as you can. Fight for it. Fight for it. Never stop fighting for it.
But instead of fighting for youth, we fight for life. Or, more specifically, we fight against death.

We’re dying slowly and painfully. People in rich countries often spend a decade or more suffering through illness after illness at the ends of their lives.
the surgeon and doctor Atul Gawande has noted, “making mortality a medical experience.”
But what if it didn’t have to be that way?
What if those final years didn’t look so terribly different from the years that came before them?
What if we weren’t feeling middle-aged in our 30s and 40s? What if, in our 50s, we wanted to reinvent ourselves and couldn’t think of a single reason why we shouldn’t? What if, in our 60s, we weren’t fretting about leaving a legacy but beginning one?

I’m now 50, and I feel like a kid. My wife and kids will tell you I act like one, too.