The world’s oldest person (116 years young woman) the other day said the keys to her longevity are avoiding junk food and minding her own business.
Most of you shouldn’t be alive and reading this at all if that needed to be true for all of us.
We can’t not eat junk food (at some time or another), and we always are sticking our noses into other people’s affairs; it’s just how we roll. We can’t help it, as to a degree, it’s probably written into our DNA.
I tend to take my cues for longevity, at least quality longevity, from the domesticated animal kingdom.
Take a look at our dogs and cats for instance…
They don’t have spoken language, at least not to the extent that us humans do. They do just fine, however, most of the time when we aren’t stressing them out in one way or another.
How do they manage a long, peaceful existence on the planet?
They simplify their life, that’s how.
They don’t let stress get the upper handle on their happiness. That is, unless of course, we are constantly arguing loudly with other members of the household or not being kind to them.
So, animals in good homes have minimal stress to contend with.
That leaves their lives to these four basic principles for contentment:
Eat. Sleep. Play. Poop.
As humans, we tend to get high and mighty living at the top of the scrap heap known as the food chain.
We are all so self-important, we lie, cheat and are mean to one another.
The poor behavior we engage in all too often places stressors on our bodies.
We break down. We may live a long time, relatively speaking, but our quality of life surely suffers when we complicate things by acting badly.
Some people used to urge us to get back to the country to simplify things, to resume the four happiness ingredients that are eating, sleeping, playing and pooping.
Animals are sort of in the country—they have back yards, or go on “countryside” walks and we pick up the poop they make.
I swear you can see them smiling sometimes as you scoop their waste neatly, or as neatly as possible, into a plastic bag. That’s some funny stuff (and I think it is to them, too). Don’t you love it when your dog proudly kicks his hind legs back, shooting piles of dust and debris over the general vicinity of his droppings? That’s happy pooping pride manifesting itself, ladies and gentlemen!
I secretly hope print media like newspapers never completely die as the plastic wrappers they are delivered in make perfect waste receptacles for this necessary endeavor of “scoopage.” Newspaper writers may still have news story “scoops,” but we animal lovers get to actually “scoop” with the plastic that surrounds their scoops—can you dig it?
But, seriously, take a look at your animal.
He or she will usually have a calming effect on even the most neurotic of us, with their daily displays of unconditional love.
Animals know instinctively that it’s better to give than to receive.
We as humans have our moments when we are thinking along the same lines, but for the most part, there are quite a few days where we are not able to even muster a hello to a stranger in passing, let alone perform a completely selfless act on behalf of another, less fortunate human being.
So, we complicate our lives to the point we make ourselves sick and we die too young as a result.
If we aren’t predisposed to some genetic abnormality, illness nor have an accident of some kind that leaves us less than intact at some point in our lives, we are mostly given a clean slate to live as best we can health-wise.
Now cats and dogs don’t live long actual numbers of years like we do, but I like to assign the dog life “seven years for each one year” theory, and that has some beasts living into their 90s and 100s.
So, to summarize…minimize your stress, give and love unconditionally and remember that doing anything beyond eating, sleeping, playing and pooping is potentially compromising your overall longevity and happiness.
And thank you for picking up after your pets, too.