Written by Paul Penner Tuesday, 23 October 2012 14:16
Time marches on, whether we like it or not. Whether we focus on our personal lives, our health or whatever, we have no choice but to move forward into the future.
As for our health, the eyes grow dim, hair falls out and places form new places with hanging skin—where we never new there were places to begin with. Skin around the eyes begin to droop. Hair grows everywhere except where we want it to grow. Muscles turn into mush, no matter how much effort we make to retain that youthful look.
Then, the really bad stuff happens. Hormonal and chemical imbalances plays havoc with the body and mind. If you think raging hormones as a teen was a nightmare, imagine what it’s like when they disappear, faster than a speeding bullet.
The mind. Ah, yes, the mind. An ad back in the ’60s said, “a mind is a terrible thing to waste.” The ad is right. Then why do we struggle to remember something we were convinced long ago that we would never forget?
Short-term memory loss is even worse. Imagine someone asking a question and, after pausing for 30 seconds, asks you to repeat the question. Can you remember what it was?
Say what? I rest my case....
We have not even mentioned the issue of sex—and we won’t.
All the fitness and dietary gurus of the world cannot explain away every case of weight gain and water retention when body chemistry changes. No matter how we change our diet, even for the better, some things cannot halt the decline of physical health in an aging body. Even exercise—though preferable to the alternative couch-potato lifestyle—cannot halt the inevitable decline.
It’s not all bad, though. Medical science is making great strides in assisting us to fight back and retain a part of that youthful vigor and appearance. Anyone who has benefited from cataract surgery will agree that sight is preferable to conditions that will lead to blindness. Ask anyone who has received a hip or knee implant. Would they want their old, worn out, painful arthritic knees and joints back?
There are little pills to take that restore sanity, to a small degree. Vitamins are good for supplementing our diet. Thyroid pills restore deficiencies in our body. There are little blue pills that “assist” with the previously mentioned unmentionable subject.
Life is as good as we think we know it.
Depending on what our focus is, the future looks bright or is not so good.
As I watch my children and grandchildren go about their daily lives, I am hopeful for the future. Those 2-year-old twin granddaughters cannot help but make this world a better place to live and dream for a better tomorrow.
In a video sent to us by their parents, as they are painting on paper, one asks the other, “What are you painting?” The other says, “Mostly red and yellow.”
They love to chat with us via FaceTime on our iPad. John Deere combines and tractors are their favorite big “toys” at this time. The color green is a functional and a fashion statement at the same time. Who knows what their passion will be by the time they are young women in their twenties.
As I look to the future via my world of agriculture, I am optimistic that farmers have a great opportunity to improve not only their lives but the lives of people around the globe. The production of food is one of the greatest challenges to face mankind in the 21st century. I am hopeful that farmers are up to that challenge and are preparing to invest in new technologies that can make that a great success story.
Sen. Pat Roberts makes a convincing case that whenever a nation’s food security is at risk, the nation is at risk and vulnerable to social, economic and political upheaval. The question then is, does our nation understand that fundamental truth or will we become vulnerable in the future?
On the social, political and economic fronts, there are concerns. Our nation is at a crossroads. We are deep in debt. Our political will is fractured and right now, neither side is talking to each other.
Plutocrats, the top one-tenth of 1 percent of the wealthiest people in the world are trying to control the national agenda, from tax policy to welfare to national defense. Well-known author Ayn Rand is their political philosopher. Her book, “Atlas Shrugged,” is their bible.
Never mind that both political parties have equally contributed to the fiscal crisis we are facing. That fact rarely receives recognition from either presidential candidate, nor do they appear willing to give specifics on how they will work with Congress to address the crisis.
Health care, aka ObamaCare, is highly controversial. Republicans only campaign for its repeal. I never hear from them a credible, affordable alternative for health care. The simple answer is, they have none. If they do have something worthwhile, now is the time to make that known before the election.
Regarding welfare, neither party nor presidential candidate has a viable, sound, responsible plan that will move people off of welfare rolls and into productive employment. Loop holes that encourage people to accept welfare without justification needs to be closed.
Education, overly obsessed with methods and assessments and less focused on content, continues its decline as the U.S. falls behind other less-developed nations in educational standards. This topic alone deserves more time than we have to discuss.
Need I say more about our nation’s health?
I think I will continue to primarily focus on the grandkids. They’re more fun to be with.