Stop trying to beat death

Do you know what some of the characters in "Tuck Everlasting," the pirates from the first Pirates of the Caribbean film and Voldemort from Harry Potter" all have in common?

They can live forever, but they are miserable as hell about it.

Here in reality, we are miserable that we can’t live and stay young forever, but that may soon change.

Google CEO Larry Page is supporting a life science startup called Calico with research goals mainly consisting of curing the ultimate disease: Death and the effects of aging. Knowing Google’s influence and power, this solution can come to fruition anytime in the near future.

Why at 80 years old should our bodies start to wither? Why should we worry in our 20s that we're at the peak of our biological primes and must accomplish all our goals now?

The denial of death has been our greatest advertisement tool. Between the morning schedules of pill popping and Rogaine-applying, our afternoon Botox appointments and the occasional Viagra at night, we are desperate people who will never accept the deconstruction happening inside us.

It is funny that Google rival Steve Jobs said in a 2005 Stanford commencement speech that, “Remembering that you’re going to die is the best I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. ... Death is very likely the single best invention of life.”

The cure for death isn’t prolonging life or artificially changing our bodies to withstand the test of time, but it is ultimately to accept it.

We praise science and technology for so much, for its ability to solve and prove the impossible. That it can't solve everything is one of the few life lessons we still need to learn as humans.

Your time and health is valuable. Take care of it and use it wisely. Exercise, read a book, take chances and explore the world.

In our infancy we are stuck in a crib being rotationally taken care of by our parents and grandparents, and life should direct us that we should do the same and take care of them when they are stuck in a hospital bed. Prepare and grow for this chapter of your life. Don’t run away from it, hoping for a magical pill to solve your problems.

We have medication to mitigate the effects of diseases like HIV and cancer, but aging isn’t a disease.

Life is potentially the most abundant resource we have. Sometimes it’s unfortunately cut short by things we’ll never solve, such as car accidents and things we will hopefully solve one day, such as cancer.

But one day you’ll get to the end. You’ll eventually come to a point as you look out your window of a retirement home complex that your children never visit any more after the first month. You’ll reminisce about all the good times that overshadowed the moments of regret and you’ll embrace the hand of your significant other or a memento of them. That’s when you’ll come to the realization and nonsense of living forever and say, “I’ve lived a damn good life.”

We have already let technology ruin human communication from texting and social media. Don’t let it also ruin the appreciation of what we already have and what it means to be alive.

 

Reach the columnist at vqnguye1@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @TaeQuangdoh.

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