Monday, January 13, 2014
Death is part of living, and as we get older we start to face the fact that we will die. But when death comes it causes great hardship for the people left behind. Also when death comes a lifetime of experiences, education, wisdom, relationships and consciousness forever vanishes in a split second.
As we look around the world, tensions are high, famine is with us, war is with us, and we see on the news of the death of hundreds and thousands of people. We tend to become more desensitized to such horrors as the numbers mount. Maybe they seem too distant and abstract. Local, current individual tragedies impact us harder, especially when they strike close to home.
People don't seem to consider those same losses as 100,000 "old" people expire every 24 hours. 37 million deaths from aging every year is a big number. Too big for most to be sensitized to it. Too remote unless it's a loved one. And too "natural" to even think of doing anything about it. When I read of a notable person's death, it's more than passing news or a "too bad" reaction to me. It's a never-ending reminder to eliminate life's closing chapter once and for all.
There have been some recent discussions in the life extension community of other reasons behind the lack of funding for research. Most agree that once about 10% of the population understands the possibilities of ending aging as we know it, then we would have reached the tipping point that will trigger the funding needed to finish the job. If we all do just a bit to educate our circles of friends and associates, we'll reach that 10% sooner rather than later.