A Note of Optimism on the Forces of Gravity and the Effort to Stand Up Against Disease
It is more than just a metaphor that "the force of gravity" is to pull us down to the ground. That is, it is much easier to lie down than to stand up. We have to exert some "effort" or determination to stand. That is, it requires muscles to fight the forces of gravity to remain standing. Even our biology is such that we fall towards death from the very second we are born. You have the most life the first second you are born, and every second thereafter there is less and less life. And, it is a naturally easy to slide in the wrong direction. It is more fun to smoke than not, to be a couch potato than exercise, to eat meat-cheese-eggs-pizza-ice cream than brown rice-vegetables-beans, to use heroin or cocaine, drink alcohol or have a nasty attitude, and so on. It requires much more effort to stand up, to eat whole grains vegetables and beans, to give up the meat cheese and eggs, to stop smoking, get off heroin-alcohol-cocaine. And it becomes more difficult to do "the right thing" the older we get and the longer we have been doing wrongs things which we like. In a very real sense, "bad" is stronger than "good." A tiny little dot of ink on a white blouse is quite visible. It turns out that bad is usually "more attractive-stronger" than is good or doing the right thing.
So, why fight it? Only fight it if you do not wish to submit yourself to science, surgery and medicines before you die rather than afterwards. Only fight it if you want the freedom from high health care costs, hospital admissions, worries about health insurance, etc. While occasional chance occurrences do happen such as auto accidents or trees falling on us, nonetheless the vast majority of the bad things that happen like your and my tendency to diabetes-heart disease-cancer-diverticulitis-over weight-back strain come strictly from what we do like our smoking-high fat-low fiber diet, drinking coffee-colas-alcohol, not using our Heavy Hands one pound large size weights while we walk 3-5 miles every other day, and simply being nasty. Unfortunately, it tends to be true, that "if you like it, it is illegal, immoral, or fattening."
I'm not looking for saints, in a very real sense I'm not looking for business either. The idea is to be well and "stay out of harms way" and doctors' offices. To do that, you must exert some effort, stand up and change from things you know you shouldn't do (which are generally more fun than the things that you should do). All the support that you need is available.
H. Robert Silverstein, MD