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Aging is a natural process, but in my opinion, it’s not all physical.  It has to do with one’s mental attitude and physical activity level.  The term “old” is relative.  Old age is not defined by the number of years you have lived.  A 70-year-old may be younger than a 50-year-old person in body and mind relatively speaking.  Body and mind go hand in hand.  A healthy body generally shelters a healthy mind.  A healthy mind in turn keeps our body in tune.  This is true provided we do the right thing for our body as well as mind, that is eating generally healthy and exercising both body and mind regardless of our age.  During my business trips that took me to many countries and many cities, I always carried my running shoes and took the opportunity to run in places like Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Bogota, Tokyo, Sydney, Salzburg, Luanda, in India and in many cities in the US and Canada despite a busy work schedule.  Although I am aging (silver hair and reading glasses are proof of that), I feel very fit physically and mentally for my age.

Our body, mind, and spirit can overcome some truly adverse conditions only if we do not give in.  If we stop moving, our joints stiffen up and deteriorate faster than when we keep moving.  The body, the joints adapt and adjust themselves if we keep moving.  Nothing can be achieved without some risk or pain.  Sometimes, it can result in an undesirable ending.  That is rare.  That must not stop us from exploring, seeking out the unknown, going to the moon or Mars, or standing up for justice.  Our progress may be slow, but “pole\ pole\” we get to the finish line, we get to the peak.  However, one must take that first step, keep moving, and not worry about the distance we must go.  Climbing Mount Everest, completing a marathon, all start with the first step and continuous endeavor for all following steps to reach the goal.  I am still running or cycling some to stay fit.  I owe my adventure spirit to inspiration from the American environment, without which I seriously doubt that I would have done the things I have done.  However, sooner or later time takes a toll.  One may prolong life or stay healthy longer.  But an old machine is an old machine, and nothing lasts forever.

The cycle of life goes on in America in a style quite different from what I had seen as a little boy.  In a modern so-called civilized world, a child is born in a hospital and generally dies an old person in a nursing home.  You are not born, and you could not die in your own home like in the old days.  Time changes everything everywhere sooner or later.  Many face difficulties coping with such changes.  Obviously, no one knows what tomorrow holds.  Until then I plan to keep doing the things I have been doing and as long as I can do it.  I also believe I have adapted to the changes well.  So, I am not concerned about what happens when it’s my turn to go.  All I “wish” for is a death without pain and suffering.  I believe healthy living increases our chance in achieveing that goal, albeit it’s not guaranteed.

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Lohit Datta-Barua (USA)

Dr. Lohit Datta-Barua has lived in Houston since 1973. As an inspiring writer and contributor to social justice he continues to touch people’s lives. As of 2019 Datta-Barua has authored eleven books, six in English, and five in his mother tongue Assamese. His latest book, “One Long Journey” is primarily a story of survival and hope in the face of of adversity and social upheaval, which Datta-Barua hopes can inspire his readers. All proceeds from “One Long Journey” go for orphan welfare.

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