Bill Gifford

Exploring the Frontiers of Anti-Aging

Spring Chicken: Stay Young Forever (or Die Trying) is an excellent, and fun, overview of the anti-aging obsession that has captured the hearts and minds of the privileged few. For most of human history there was no such thing as aging, there was just life then death. The idea of aging, of resistance to aging (anti-aging) and longevity are a “problem” only for the comfortable and privileged few. A small percentage of people in the world have achieved a level of wealth that has secured all of their most basic needs, as well as many luxuries, for the indefinite future. They do not worry about survival. They are having a good time, feel quite important (Much too vital to leave this world – what would we do without them?), and have decided they never want the “party” to end.

Spring ChickenThe rest are focused on surviving this day. There is no future, that is a fantasy. Food. Shelter. Sickness. Safety. Everything beyond this is a luxury that belongs to others. Why would they want this struggle to persist indefinitely? Their hope is in something better after this life.

The well off think differently. With no (real) worries, they often give up ideas of faith, God and eternity. God becomes a giver of great gifts who has “blessed” them. There is no need for heaven, life is much too good here on earth. Heaven seems like an invention from a time when life was much too harsh, so bad that we NEEDED something to encourage us to keep moving forward. With hardship gone, who need’s an afterlife. The ultimate result of this “spoiled life”is that we become our own “God.” The ego takes charge and the perpetuation of our lives become the focus. We must live – youthfully – forever. Why?

The entire book urges bigger questions. What is the point of life? Why live longer? The ego, of course, believes in its own importance and insists on eternal recognition. But for what purpose? To continue buying, consuming, discarding, and promoting anything that maintains our ability to do so. The belief that you are special, that the world needs you, is a product of the ego. It is difficult to accept that millions have gone before us, and millions more will go after. A small number of “survivors” will be impacted by our time here (until they also leave), then we are dust in the wind – gone. The ego fights this with all its might.

Living forever is a self-indulgent fantasy of spoiled souls who have too much comfort. While millions remain in conditions of suffering, these individuals focus their energy and money on themselves. What is the world that will be created? One in which the privileged few persist and the rest drift away after years of living in misery?

The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time. – Mark Twain

Spring Chicken is worth the read. It will provide insight and information for taking care of your body as you age. I am all for health and wellness. We should each take care of our bodies – exercise, eat healthy, get plenty of sleep and reduce stress. These efforts make us better parents, spouses, employees, bosses – people. They provide energy and feelings of joy and abundance, and allow us to feel vital into old age. Health is not the same as an obsession about not dying. To avoid death is to not accept life.

Be Strong. Stay Hungry. Walk Tall.