I felt like a celebrity on 2 somewhat recent events in my life. The first was during my wedding. Aside from me and my wife being the stars of the day, we were also assigned personal assistants/coordinators throughout the day. The directive was “Should you need anything, ask your coordinators for help”. It felt awesome.
The second, surprisingly, was when my dad passed away. It was a heartbreaking time but at the same time, I noticed that my ego liked it. My ego was enjoying the attention received from everyone around me — condolences and such.
Not quite sure what to make of it.
I’m simply paying attention to my thoughts and emotions.
Observing. But not judging.
Here’s a hypothesis that’s been playing in mind. At this time, it’s difficult to know if it’s a fact or just a weird concept.
As humans, I think we are given a certain age.
Let’s say the magic number is 300. We are meant to live up to 300 years old.
However, our age gradually degrades. Years or days are subtracted (or added) depending on what you do with your life. And perhaps, if you are taking care of yourself well, you get to add from what’s been subtracted. Just like the growing trend: carbon offsetting.
For example, let’s say every cigarette stick takes 30 days of your life. So a pack costs you about 20 months of your life.
So you’re left with 298 years and 4 months. Then multiply that with how many packs you consumed in your lifetime.
Perhaps we could look at it this way (note that I’m just vaguely putting in these numbers):
- 500 grams of beef: -20 days
- 500 grams of wagyu beef: -10 days (more healthy fat and you have to calculate for the happiness factor, raising your dopamine and serotonin levels)
- 1 Hamour fish (but consumed plastics in the ocean): -30 days
- 1 litre of coke: -2 months
- A leaf of organic green veggie: +2 days
- A leaf of green veggie (but sprayed with chemicals): -8 days
- 20 push-ups: +30 days
- 20 pull-ups: +50 (because it’s obviously harder than push-ups)
- A bottle of beer: +/- 10 days (depending on the quality)
- A gallon of ice cream: -60 days (BR or Selecta?)
- 10 km of running: +3 months
- 1kg of carrots: +3 months
- Glass of water from plastic bottle: -5 days
- Glass of water from faucet: -3 days
- Glass of water from an expensive ilter: +1 day
- Glass of water from mountain spring:
- 1 cubic foot of inhaled smoke from cars: -90 days
- 10 cubic feet of fresh air in the middle of the forest: +40days
- Falling in love: +10 years
- Heart-broken: -8 years (depending on how you cope)
If we actually do the Math for all of these, how much years do we have left?
Surprises and others
So the above examples would just be a general rule. Your genes could also be an important factor to consider. How about your mental well-being? Some other factors we also wouldn’t be able to account for are the surprises like heart attacks, critical illnesses, accidents, etc.
And then there’s the objection I often hear that goes like this: “I know people who lived healthily but died young, and there are some who I know who are heavy drinkers/smokers but still alive today at 90”.
There are always exemptions to the rule. Who knows? It could be 1 in 1000 or 1 in 100,000,000 humans. And if you think you’re one of the special ones — well, lucky you! And if you’re not an exemption, you could mitigate the risks.
And so.. what’s my point? Well, if I may suggest — that you make an extra effort to be healthy.
“You will not go to heaven if you are not born again”. I couldn’t forget when my classmate in 5th grade, who’s a pastor’s kid, enthusiastically pointed the verse in the Bible to another classmate – who was a Roman Catholic.
Being a pastor’s kid myself, I wasn’t sure what to make of it and I didn’t have a strong opinion about it. Perhaps it was because I don’t remember my dad forcing people to convert to being a “Born-again” Christian to get to heaven.
Humans, by nature, tend to lean towards the collective narrative, as dictated by the community they are a part of. I remembered I sat with a group of professionals in Dubai, and our discussion was focused on each our our “Truths”. We had varied definitions and how we defined our truths were mainly based by our own experiences.
And then there’s the part wherein — if it resonates with you and aligns to your values, you tend to accept that something as truth. When something fits well with your narrative, the story you tell yourself, or how you view the world — that something becomes your truth.
However, your truth is not someone else’s truth.
Disagree but respect
President Rodrigo Duterte respects the principles the communists live by and are fighting for, but he disagrees with their ways and he goes after them when they go above the law.
Some of my family members believe that Bill Gates started the covid-19 plandemic, or the pandemic was part of the plan to take down the pedophiles like Tom Hanks and Oprah, and the many other conspiracy theories. I don’t believe all these theories and find most of the stories ridiculous. I could even come up with reasons or the possible motivations behind these conspiracies.. because “I know better” — at least what the story my ego-self was telling me.
But as I reflect on it, I realized that they feel as strongly as I am on their own opinions (or whether they call it as “truth” or “facts”). Debating about who’s right or wrong will only result in unhealthy relationships. Surely, there would be some level of truths to some of what they believe in and once that’s proven, I’d be accepting and admit that I was wrong when that time comes.
One can chose to disagree and at the same time respect the other side.