This question comes up frequently at gatherings, particularly when all parties involved have run out of interesting things to say.
I know that much has been said on this topic already; however, as a member of the rising generation that will have to deal with supporting the aging population, I think it’s valid for me to speak a little on the issue with prolonging the human lifespan.
Doing a quick Google search, you can find many articles online which predict that coming advances in medicine or genetic modification will eventually lead to the dream of immortality coming to the consumer market sometime in the next century.
What a great opportunity! To live forever… to see the world a thousand times over, read all the words you could ever hope to find, meet all kinds of people and learn their stories.
It seems like such a blessing: to finally have all the time in the world to experience everything you have been missing.
However, whenever I find myself on the receiving end of this contrivance that passes as a “conversation starter,” my answer to the question is a resounding no.
Even if there was a way to prevent the degeneration of the mind and body, an endless life would still be an undesirable and haunting experience.
I draw my reasoning from the stints I have had dealing with trauma in life. I concede that I am a young man and do not have the wisdom that comes as the brain ferments over the years.
However, while I admit that I am not wise or wrinkled, I can rely on the words of those who come before me. According to them:
Life is hard, and it ain’t getting easier.
From a religious understanding (I will choose the Christian, as with it I am the best versed), we live in an imperfect world and death is just one of the many evils which plague us. At the same time, however, death is what ultimately liberates us from the suffering we inevitably face.
Life is hard. Even people born into unthinkable wealth and prestige find it impossible to say that they have escaped the pain, sadness, stress, and hopelessness that fills our world.
Whether it is a war at your doorstep or a dear pet lost, trauma forms scars on our psyche which persist throughout the years. You remember all the moments you failed, all the people you made upset, all the loved ones you lost because your brain is hard-wired to do so. Remembering the bad times makes it easier to deal with future struggles; however, as we see with conditions like PTSD, too much remembered trauma is dangerous to our well-being.
Living forever would give you infinite opportunities to experience life. This means facing immeasurable trauma as well. We have seen the effects of overexposure to trauma and they include depression, anxiety and suicide. If people can find themselves overtaken by the ghosts of past trauma when limited to a lifespan of only ninety to a hundred years, how much more miserable will be the first people to live to five-hundred?
I would never choose to live forever. Even in my short twenty years I have witnessed how traumatic experiences can still haunt you years or decades after their occurrence. I can only guess how unbearable a live of infinite years would become. Even the sweetest moments would be tainted by the memories of broken promises, lost loved ones, and stressful happenings.
Death is the natural limit that frees us from our ghosts. I suggest dying could also be thought of as a long-awaited liberation for a brain tired of dealing with itself.
The role of an artist is one of infinite loneliness. It is to create a work or world to be shared but never truly understood: to give form as a god but be restricted to the limitations of your own existence.
I’ve often thought of trying to immerse myself within a world I write. Using creativity to escape the drab and ordinary. However, I realized that, should I enter my work, the pen building the story would cease to be moved.
Thus, looking through a screen at the tip of my fingertips, I watch my galaxies unfold from big bang to heat death. Then I grab a soda, rub my eyes, and think about paying the bills. From creator to cog, the pendulum swings, incessantly reminding us of our size in the universe.
同様に、私が青森県に住んでいた一年の間、ホストファミリーの元でまた育てられていた。日本語を先生なしでゼロから学ぼうとしていた（This is a VERY difficult way to learn any language, I do not recommend it for the light of heart!）ので、まるで赤ちゃんの存在に戻された気持ちだった。前回と違って、今回のベイビーマイケルは始めてから歩くことや食べることがまあまあできていたため、成長スピードが速いそうだった。