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October 19, 2011

The Aging Process Is Not a Symptom of Disease

Personally I view the concept of aging as a disease to be very offensive. This idea of humanity tottering off in long lines of deepening and worsening illness year after year until their suffering ends is repugnant to me and I think that it is almost wholly against fact. Of course there is the natural process of cell breakdown each year that we are alive; and cell regeneration speed and skill begins to lessen as we age as well. Sometimes the damage to a cell or group of cells is too great for our bodies to remember how to mend, and there will be a permanent imperfection. Our bodies are therefore weakened in many imperceptible ways as we age, and by the time many humans reach old age the damage they have incurred can result in a variety of disease and illness. However, these diseases and illnesses can arrive at any point in a human’s lifespan when the necessary factors are in place; terrible disease and suffering are not reserved for the aged alone.
The most fallible aspect of looking at age as a disease that can be cured is that it cannot in fact be cured. Modern science is still researching why our bodies break down in certain ways over time and fail to repair themselves in certain instances. As of yet there is no cure for free radical damage, or telomere damage…at least as of last term’s textbook. As far as damage caused by layering of harmful life occurrences, such as the tragic affects of cigarette smoking, those diseases can be cured only by awareness and stopping the behavior in time before permanent damage is done. With some damage, such as cigarette smoke, our bodies can even reverse the damage done over time. But you do not have to smoke long or be very old at all for your body to begin to suffer in many ways from cigarettes. Therefore, the damage to our bodies that most of us attribute to aging cannot generally be cured because we do not understand what causes the natural breakdown process; but we do understand the damage that can be caused by harmful habits and lifestyles, so we can take steps to ensure that our bodies never experience that sort of breakdown at any point in our lives.

Aging as a natural process that can be enhanced is a viewpoint I embrace. I am aware that if I live long enough, my body will begin to experience the inevitable cell breakdown that characterizes the life cycle of all organic matter on this planet. As of now there is nothing I can do about that, nor am I absolutely sure that I would want to. If my body never begins to break down, what in the world is there for me to die for? Would I just wander around in my gorgeous regenerating shell until I got hit by a bus? There is something beautiful and reassuring about death. Every one of us is born with the potential to meet it peacefully, regardless of its circumstances. One of the reasons for this peace is that we are in general not in control of the circumstances surrounding our deaths, but we know that they will come to us regardless.
When I think of my aging process, which has fully already began in good earnest, I just want to be as healthy and strong and mobile as possible. I want to retain control of my mental and physical faculties, and I know that I can take steps now to give myself a boost in this regard in later years.

Have I already mentioned how much I love buttered toast? I hereby resolve for the umpteenth time to eat more food groups. I have been living on buttered toast for two days now…mm buttered toast.

I am

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One Response to “going to eat a salad I promise”

  1. Hobi Says:

    True. However, the evolutionary concept of aging makes a lot of sense to me, too. The fact is, evolution had been so kindly rooting out common ailments with its powerful little natural selection, but skipping right over heart disease, arthritis, and so forth because old people don’t need to make better babies. Sad but true. Aging isn’t a disease, but it is riddled with natural chronic disease. Evolution is no longer our friend and we have to find other ways to fight the hallmark diseases of age…

    Like


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