[COLUMN] Planned obsolescence

NOW is a good time to ponder about the end. It is a grim thought, I admit, but it seems appropriate when taking stock of the year about to be filed away in some cosmic memory bank.

Long ago when my daughter was a young girl and while driving one day on the freeway headed west in late afternoon while the summer sun in all its crimson splendor slowly sank in the horizon, I commented to my daughter who was seated beside me that the sun will die too someday, like everything else.

Alarm showing in her face, she asked when it was going to happen and I smiled, patted her on the knee and said that it isn’t going to happen anytime soon. Then, I added to tamp down her visible concern, the sun will still be there, maybe, for another five to nine billion years or so to sustain life on earth, nearly twice the length of time it took to form the solar system and all its planets in its present form, if the educated guess of scientists are to be believed.

The earth will still be around for some time. And provided of course, that there is no large sized meteor or cosmic debris careening off its track hurling itself helter-skelter onto earth as many believe happened some 65 million years ago, wiping off the dinosaurs and making the earth a new tabula rasa, a new canvass for a new thinking, feeling life form, called man, to take shape and conquer the planet.

As grown-ups, we realize that our tomorrows have a finite number and each year-end, brings home that point that much more clearly. Alan Watts wrote perhaps to explain the results of man’s creative urges as a means to preserve itself, “It is because men know they will die that they have created the arts and sciences, the philosophies and religions.”

What is overlooked in his statement is that there is our omnipotent, loving God who planned all these from the beginning of time.

What perhaps separates us from other life forms is that we become aware of our own mortality, our own inevitable ending and seeks as a matter of self-preservation to extend it, not only by passing on genetic material to our own progeny but by the expression of thought.

Everything that exists — whether natural or man-made — has an end. Whether it is a car, a pacemaker embedded deep in one’s heart, a computer, a tree, an ant or anything else on earth, there is a definite end.

Most men in developed, wealthy countries with better standards of living, better health-care programs and barring unforeseen circumstances like accidents or murder, have an average life expectancy of about 28,000 days. In ideal conditions, the planned obsolescence for man is to reach the ripe old age of 115 years, at which time, death could only be caused by natural causes, all worn out body parts simply too old and emaciated to function any longer.

Should we at all care or worry about the end? Worry can only finish us off to an untimely end. Live as though each day were your last. To live in the moment is not only both art and science, it is a determined 24-hour mind-set you have to adopt out of your own free will. A few get it only after they have a clear brush with death. Many never get it at all.

Some anonymous soul once described how best to live one’s life very aptly in terms of money — in plain phraseology that cuts across language barriers, “Yesterday is a cancelled check; tomorrow is a promissory note, today is ready cash — use it.”

I want to wish all my faithful readers:  A HAPPY, BLESSED, HEALTHY, PEACEFUL AND ABUNDANT 2022!

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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

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