How Long Do You Want to Live?

Standard

Life extends easily into the eighth decade and it is not unusual to hear of one living past 100. Over our history, life expectancy has varied dramatically. In the recent history of the last two or three hundred year, men and women were lucky to live to be 50 or 60.

Women especially struggled to survive through the births of their many children, facing unsanitary conditions and the resulting infections and fevers. Men didn’t fare much better, facing hunting accidents and war injuries with less than sophisticated medical knowledge and technology.

Even in the last century, accidents were fatal. Stories of men or women burning to death from accidents resulting from kerosene lamps are not unusual, nor are stories of death and injury caused by other accidents.

The question is: how long do you really want to live?

In the far past, it was common for people to live much more than 100 years. Abraham lived 365 years; Methuselah was the longest lived man on record, living 969 years. Adam and Eve lived well into their ninth century. That is much longer than I want to live!

Our lives are easier than theirs; we have all the benefits of electricity and electronics. Easy travel and rapid communication join with near effortless work in the home, food production, and other occupations, especially in comparison to lives just a century ago.

Our lives are more difficult in some ways. Consider the intensity of the challenges of hate, immorality, and evil that inundate us. It is difficult to get through a day without facing scantily clad people caught up in fierce expressions of lust, unless you stay in bed with the television off. Violence, hatred, pornography, abuse, immorality, and many more symptoms of a failing society abound, throughout the world.

Ancient days were not much better. None of the modern conveniences were available. All the work we depend on electricity to do was done manually, often by servants or slaves. Cleanliness would have been difficult. Medical knowledge was adequate, but certainly unable for its practitioners to cure or prevent infections and diseases.

Worse, battles between men were hand-to-hand, face your enemy, and slash him to bits before being destroyed. Women whose husbands and sons went to war could only hope and pray theirs would be the lucky ones to return without injury, if they returned at all.

Women who lived in those early could expect to be attacked and raped without protection of husbands, fathers, or their hired guards. Most men in nearly all ages believed in their right to have sexual relations with about any woman, while holding their wives and daughters to a stricter standard of sexual purity.

Violence and evil of every kind surrounded these people—much like it does today.

Eve struggled in her time in learning to survive a new, uninhabited world. Everything was new requiring thought and effort to overcome the problems, often failing and needing to try many different solutions before finding one that worked. She, too, faced the grief too many of her children who listened and succumbed to the voice of evil.

No, living for multiple centuries is not enticing. Seventy or eighty years is more than enough for any of us!

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