I witness old people slowly dying simply of old age. Who can judge their dignity? Certainly, in the advanced industrialized countries at least, they live more comfortably and for more years than in recorded history (unless we take the early books of the Bible literally). The real issue is, for how many healthy and productive years will a man enjoy life on this earth? A man at 91, from the Mediterranean, but dying right here in Boca Raton, still enjoys calamari (a Greek word by half) and linguini bathed in olive oil, garlic, and tomato sauce. The Jews here, another Mediterranean peoples, still talk, now in English, about Rosh Hashanah.

We have this system, regardless of its foibles and apparent injustices, whereby people make a business out of helping other people to live longer; through a combination of current workers paying taxes and a draining of the savings of the elderly, with the government acting as intermediary, income and wealth are transferred to those doing business in the healthcare industry – from the insurance company executive, to the doctors, to government bureaucrats, to clerical workers in the hospitals and clinics – and the deficit represents lost potential productivity.

Yet it is not a total loss: some elderly people remain productive in some way, some still enjoy life, and some, in their own way, contribute to preserving culture, perhaps inspiring someone of a younger generation.

To be sure, it would have been better if the general level of culture lie on a loftier plane, but perhaps the most valuable gain is the humanity of the civilization, despite the foibles and injustices of the system expressed as a business, but also expressed in the sincere joyous attitude of some of the female office workers and front-line caregivers, earning modest wages and dealing with the daily realities of frail and dying elderly people, the same women who are wives and mothers whose love helps to civilize their sons, making life in this world that much more tolerable.

So live life, love your wife, love your children, eat well, and let God take care of their souls.

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