Mere Mortals

I love the idea that humans were able to live for hundreds of years. I've read that humans date back some 200,000 years depending on your definition of 'human'. It's interesting that the life expectancy of a male in the UK is just 78 according to the CIA World Factbook 2011. I can imagine for some that living longer may seem like a nightmare, and I would agree if based on how we presently age.

I wonder if it was very different long ago however and if at all possible in humanity's future? Being 100 might have been the equivalent to entering your thirties in present day terms. No health issues or brain deterioration would make the event much more appealing to me for sure. I testify that life after 30 has been great for me. Can you imagine saying "I didn't start living until I was 100" what a crazy thought!

If there are studies into this and I'm sure there are I should seek them out. My limited knowledge, and lack of desire to Google my way through this post, leaves me somewhat guessing. I've considered modern day factors that would seem to contribute to a shorter lifespan. Most notably pollution and in my eyes convenience. A simple study is to look at any purely indigenous people or tribe and compare their lifestyle and life expectancy to our own in the 1st World. When you live off the land minus additives and pesticides, when you hunt and gather, when you must outrun prey surely you are at the peak of physical fitness. How we test mental ability is anyone's guess, you naturally cannot compare unless you strip thoughts and dreams down to the barest of bones, I would have thought. Aspirations are useless if you only know survival and procreation.

I think these conditions give you the best chance at living a long life and meet your make through natural causes. That in itself would need to be clarified of course. Is being eaten by a lion a natural cause? Or falling from a tree and cracking your skull open? To simplify I'd say to simply go to sleep and not wake up. So why are people who live without the stresses and dangers we face (and bring upon ourselves) at the peak of human physical condition not out living the rest of us? Let's stick with simplicity and go for pollution, its cause and effect like over population etc. Something we are to blame for to live a more comfortable life is quite possibly messing it up for others who do not choose our way of life.

This is nothing new but is the first time I've looked at it myself from my own perspective, not via some commercial or poster on the train attempting to coax money through my assumed guilt at being a selfish bastard and murderer of the Earth.

Could we make sufficient changes to enable future generations a shot at living longer and more naturally prosperous lives? Our entire social structure would need changing. Total upheaval of what is deemed success and accomplishment. Being rich and famous would matter not. Instead living longer to be good to each other and provide for the future of mankind would be reward enough if we let it. At some point we gave that up, maybe slowly at first but now certainly en mass.

What would it hurt to start small again and make this happen? For those of us living check to check, finding satisfaction from work, raising children and providing for families, donating time and money to those in need for no other reason than we're all human and we've been able to rise up and without more of us what is the point of existence anyway?

I want a return to simple pleasures, and find that being a father has brought me back to these natural highs and emotional responses. The same cabe said for pleasures experienced as children. When we knew little and relied on instinct and limited perception were we not happy and contented? I remember being over the moon to find a cocktail cherry in my glass of Coke, sat at the Dig Dug table arcade, whilst watching my father sing and play guitar with his band. I had no expectations or comparisons, I just new my heart sang whenever he did.

Now looking back I'd have appreciated the waitresses more had I been through puberty already and imagine adding some alcohol to the Coke to heighten the enjoyment.....but would it? Have I found myself that happy in adult life with an abundance of pleasurable options at my disposal? Happy yes, definitely. I can't say truly happy in the same way no. Nothing can match certain happiness that comes from something so pure and experienced as a son or father for example.

I question when we were introduced to false happiness and pleasure that actually sours the soul instead of enlightening and illuminating it. I wonder who was to blame for making our lives easier and defining what we should expect to feel when we're happy.

During the writing of this I've checked key words and their definitions and it's funny how they contradict themselves if viewed in the way I've proposed here. There have always been people trying to show us a different way of life, another path. I guess to finish this post there really is no better message than that of John Lennon with Imagine.

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace
You, you may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you will join us
And the world will be as one
Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world
You, you may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you will join us
And the world will live as one

I would add imagine that aliens visited and have constantly influenced us during our time on Earth. Can the ancient Egyptians, Aztec and Incas really have been that advanced without some guidance or am I suffering from some Stargate flashback? To what end is another post and I will leave that for now but know that I'm thinking about it.

I dedicate this post to the memory of my Father who passed away 9 years ago this September. Rest in Peace.