Saturday, December 3, 2011

I'd rather live happy and die OLD.

It's been a few months, but one of the most inspiring movies we watched over the summer was Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead a Joe Cross Film. I'm not going to do a complete review- feel free to check it out yourself if you're interested- but one particular scene has really stuck with me.

Joe is visiting a diner in Oklahoma, talking with a table of patrons and asking if they would consider changing their diet if they knew it would extend their life expectancy. One of the middle-aged men says he would rather "die happy", and the others agree.

First of all, I believe many people would be healthier we could get rid of this idea that bad habits somehow enhance our life. "At least I'll die happy." So says every smoker, drinker, druggy... and obese binge-eater.

But will you really be happy? Visit the hospitals and nursing homes. Ask those suffering from cancer, diabetes, liver disease, emphysema, or heart failure if they are dying happy. Unfortunately, premature death is not the worst thing that can happen to a person who persists in bad habits or harmful addictions. Even worse is the pain and suffering that usually accompanies these diseases, sometimes lasting years. I find it hard to believe that anybody would actually choose to "go out" this way. Who would do that to themselves or their family?

Of course some people end up with chronic or terminal disease through no fault of their own; I'm not pointing fingers at them. But I'm convinced that nearly all of us have the ability to make choices that will better our own odds of living a longer, healthier life. Get real! We all know the difference between habits that are healthful and those that are not. And really, is that THAT much harder to order a salad rather than a huge entree and appetizers and beers and dessert? Is yet another night of flipping through three hundred channels of reruns really more fun than hitting the gym or going for a walk?

Me personally, I'd much rather give up the junk food and alcohol (already gave up smoking years ago) and live free from these addictions. I want to LIVE happy. And, God willing, in a hundred or so years I will die happy.

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