Nature -vs- Nurture: The Length and Quality of Our Life
I have a friend who is 81 and owns 3 airplanes. He skis, he rides a motorcycle, he rebuilds cars and their engines, he jogs. He is a machinist, still working. He is thin and energetic.
Other persons I've known are thin, young, and exercise regularly. Yet they have cholesterol problems. They have diabetes. They suffer high blood pressure. Really, if we stop and reflect, don't we all know people of both types?
I, on the other hand, and sedentary. I'm fat. For exercise I push a mouse and when I feel like exerting myself, I click the button. I eat a lot of meat. I love grease. Sweets are a delight to me. I'll eat a number of donuts at one sitting. I have no diabetes. I have good blood pressure. I don't suffer from high cholesterol. My mind is sharp.
What's the deal? Clearly my lifestyle is not the one of choice. I'll be the first to admit that.
The deal is, there are two aspects to human life. One is its length. The other is its quality. But there are two factors influencing these -- nature and nurture. The cards (or genes) we are dealt and the effort we take to preserve our bodies. Toss in a smidgen of coincidence, such as the virus a teenager experiences that knocks out his pancreas.
Unquestionably, of the two factors, genes play the larger role as to length of life. And, as for me, the lack of classic illnesses those who do their best to care for their bodies may experience. So is that care or nurturing unimportant? Not at all. One, because of genes, may live a longer life. Yet that life may be miserable if one doesn't take proper precautions. The longer life may be spent in taking pills, or undergoing dialysis. And if the genes dictate a shorter life, that shorter life will likewise be more likely to be a pleasurable one.
My friend, mentioned early on, had a brother and a son both die of lung cancer. He, doubtless partly influenced by exercise and diet, was a picture of health. Still, he was just diagnosed with lung cancer. Did he gain anything? Well, he has lived a longer life. But primarily, he has enjoyed a superior quality of life.
Nature -vs- Nurture? Perhaps it is somewhat equivalent to Length of Life -vs- Quality of Life, if time and unseen occurrence are dismissed. What do you think? If not, then what's the point in exercising and "eating healthy"?
Image Credit » Pixabay https://pixabay.com/en/runner-race-competition-female-888016/