Would it be counter-intuitive of me, as a ghost blog writer for a holistic health coach, to write an article about how overloaded I am by the constant stream of warnings from the health world?
This or that is going to kill me, give me cancer, make me fat, give me diabetes.
If I listened to every warning I got about what is going to kill me, I would die from starvation, lack of sun, lack of air, dehydration, loneliness and stress (from all the crap I’m not supposed to do because it will kill me).
You know what? Here’s a warning for us.
It is just a fact of life. It’s how life goes. We live for a little while and then we die.
Am I really going to live this very short life worrying about everything that’s going to kill me?
Eggs were good—the “incredible, edible egg.” Then they were bad, now they’re good again—but only the white. How would that chicken feel if it knew it had pushed out that egg, knowing that only half of it was going to be eaten?!
Pasta was good for me, better than eating meat. Now it’s not only bad for me, but it has gluten in it. The milk industry says 24 ounces of milk a day is good for me, but we don’t consume 24 ounces of anything in a day (except water—maybe, if I remember) and half the world’s population is lactose intolerant (including me—which really pisses me off because I am a dairy addict! More on that later).
I should brush my teeth, but the fluoride I’ve been bathing my teeth in for 41 years is now bad for me. So are the silver fillings dotting my bicuspids.
Cell phones will give me brain cancer. Sitting too close to the TV used to be bad for me. Now cell phones are made with TV technology (albeit digital, but still!) and we spend hours sitting inches from electronic screens.
The meat in grocery stores is from horribly abused animals, pumped full of antibiotics—or during processing, the meat gets contaminated and becomes millions of pounds of wasted dead animals. I decide to become a vegetarian but the vegetables a couple of aisles over are doused in pesticides or grown from the big, bad vegetable monster Monsanto, and the organic fruits and veggies are so expensive!
The tofu that I was going to replace the protein I’m no longer getting from the cows and chickens will mess up my hormone levels. I could just as easily drive the DC Beltway among the 100 miles-per-hour, bobbing, weaving psychos and the lunatics actually doing the speed limit and be taken out by a texting truck driver. All the warning labels in the universe won’t be able to stop that.
Tell me again why I want to live forever? Have you seen how we treat old people?
We are impatient with them, rude to them, show them no respect, don’t listen to their stories. I will miss the old people when they’re gone and I dread what today’s little ones will be like when it’s my turn to be ignored.
Anyway, nothing I’ve done or will do is going to stop the aging process anyway. I might use a moisturizer that will make my face less wrinkly or dotted in sunspots, but it might have a chemical in it that will give me cancer, or it might contain animal renderings.
If I get lucky enough to pick the most perfect moisturizer, anything it does is an illusion. My skin is still getting older, just like the rest of me.
Am I going to live in a constant state of fear over every new warning label that comes out?
Every new diet fad?
Or am I going do my best, have fun, be good to people and animals and be relieved when it’s time for this shell I call a body to finally wear out?
I’m gonna dye my hair crazy colors when it goes white. Why not? It’s like a blank canvas, screaming for a splash of color.
I’m gonna drive too fast; I’m gonna breathe the air around me; I’m gonna go out in the sun—sometimes without sunscreen or a wide-brimmed hat.
I’m gonna drink tap water—right out of the tap!
I’m gonna eat fast food and chocolate and sugar and wheat, sometimes too much.
I’m gonna laugh hard and cry, just as hard.
Enough with warning labels. In Buddhism, there is a practice called Refuge, which seeks to teach the student that everything in life is impermanent, including life itself.
“…there is no escape from death. There is no direction where death does not exist. There is no escape in the atmosphere nor in the depths of the ocean, nor is there any escape inside, over the crest of the mountains.”
To that, I add my credo, as said by Hunter S. Thompson:
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Bronwyn Petry / Editor: Rachel Nussbaum
Photo: Skid Row, Flickr Creative Commons