When you have lived for a few decades, and then some, you have the opportunity to look back on life and compare the past with the present; things change. When Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon (July 1969), talking heads proclaimed the liberation of humanity - because of computers and advances in technology. We will work less, they said, and society would soon be paperless. Those predictions proved to be a bust long ago. People now work harder than in 1969 and trees are being felled at a rapid rate. And, the pace to produce and then consume has pushed many folks over the edge; once over that precipice and then back, your life is never the same. There is something radically wrong when so many people have mental meltdowns before their 50th birthday. But not to worry, modern medicine is working to keep us alive.
We have a pill for this and a pill for that. And if the first chemistry fails, there are replacements waiting in the wings. Now, when we wear out some body parts, the surgeons are happy to replace it. But just hold on! How many lawsuits are floating around concerning the negative effects from some drugs and faulty skeletal joints? Many. Think about it; when a drug does not work another is proscribed. Why - ask the Doc; maybe if you throw enough stuff on the wall, some will stick. Replacement joints, I'm told, have a wear life of 20 years, or less. Imagine a 60 year old man getting one or both knees replaced. Think of a 60 year old woman getting one or both of her hips replaced. So, in 20 years, the replacements need replacements? Ouch! That procedure hurts like hell at 60 and has to be worse at 80.
Understand that this post is not in any way a condemnation of our medical advances. These things help us deal with the producer/consumer hamster wheel. But......don't you think that since we put a man on the Moon and now we have that spiffy little thing running around on Mars (Mars Rover Curiosity), that we can't make, at least, skeletal replacement parts that last a lifetime? And medications that will not make us sick? Do you think that I am reaching for the stars? How about a car that gets over 60 miles per gallon and retails for under $20,000.00? Asking for too much? I don't think so. And let's not forget the need to make life better overall for the everyday man and woman; meltdowns are a bitch. Better life does not have to depend on chemistry. It's time for the guys in charge to take one or two on the chin for the team - "our team." Well, that's my opinion; just thinking out loud.
Copyright @2012 Terry Unger
Author's Note: The irony of it all - in a few weeks, I will have surgery to replace my right knee. Oh, the joy......