Happiness And Longevity.

As my regular readers know, my GP is a very wise old style doctor under whose care I feel very safe. Among the many reasons that he is like that to me is one fact of his always being very cheerful. Even under serious health problems that he personally faced, he would always present a cheerful demeanour and since I know his family well also, I believe that he and his family are by and large, very happy people.

His bedside manner including such good cheer, just seeing him would improve a patient’s condition. One particular aspect of his diagnosis is always his probing questions about the state of his patient’s minds as vouched for by others that I have sent on to him for consultations. For me, however his standard opening statement would be “why are you here? You have no business being ill. You are a happy fellow.” or words to that effect.

So, when I got this link on happiness and longevity sent to me by a friend, I was quite amazed that this old school doctor who does not get much time to read such forwards, leave alone his daily newspapers, would be so strong in his belief about health, longevity and happiness.

I just filed away the information at the back of my mind and forgot all about it till I received another forward earlier today. Ā Please click on the image for a larger resolution.

Yes, long life and happiness are two different things altogether and I would rather have the latter than the former. In fact, if it included many of the problems that the older people face in their twilight years, I do not want the former at all.

20 thoughts on “Happiness And Longevity.”

  1. I entirely concur with your last paragraph. I’d rather have happiness than a long life any time. It was sad to see my 96 year old mum gradually declining physically and mentally. I’m sure she herself would rather have died ten years earlier when she was still happy, independent and physically fit.

    1. Over the last few years that I have followed your blog posts, I have come to the conclusion that there are many traits that we share. Your comments therefore do not surprise me at all.

  2. My desire for longevity depends on the quality of my mental function and health. Happiness is whatever attitude and mental state I create for myself given my situation at the time.

  3. there’s a line in an old Woody Allen movie… I think it was Annie Hall.
    two old ladies were having lunch. one complains bitterly about the terrible food.
    the other totally agrees and says… YES! and they give such small portions!
    kind of like life here. it’s full of all kinds of misery… but generally nobody ever wants to leave! šŸ˜€

  4. Long life and happinessā€”I choose both! But you are right. Better to have happiness if long life means decreased health and increased misery. I don’t think there is a choice, as we grow older, and possibly lose our faculties. In my experience, the very old frequently do not recognize the point at which they no longer get satisfaction from life.

    1. ” … the very old frequently do not recognize the point at which they no longer get satisfaction from life”. What an extraordinary statement. What does it even mean?


      1. I would say that in general people recognise very clearly that life is no longer satisfying to them and they would rather call it a day.

    2. Not all very old do that but, those who get Alzheimer’s or dementia do and perhaps that is a blessing for them. I can assure you though though that it is not for those around them.

  5. Happiness is an inside job, they say. The outer world contributes little, if anything. Criteria is subjective to the individual and not outer perceptions (what’s wrong with him, he’s got all the money in the world? he adores her, why is she so sad? etc, etc,)

    I believe optimism has a great deal to do with elder happiness. Daughter said to me recently: You view the world as full of possibilities, that’s your secret!

    Well it is. I’m hoping my brain keeps pace with my outlook though.

    I, too, am baffled by the comment above. by STLF. In many ways.


  6. i’m not sure the 2 words go together – you can meet a grumpy bugger in his 20s and he’s still grumpy in his 50s (his/her) – there outward appearance gives of many different vibes which doesn’t always help…

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