Imagine a 98-year-old lady. She is in a home where they care for her and she is pretty happy. Actually lucky, because she only takes the levothyroxin for hypothyroidism, and has good health for that age. Still able to move about, with the help of a walker. Answers the phone and recognizes her son and grandson. In good spirits a lot of the time.

I’m sure you may be able to point to someone else in their 90’s who is living without assistance, goes golfing, and maybe runs track 3 miles a day.

An old person who maintains such an active life style somehow has it figured out, has a better clue on how to live?

Under that paradigm, the person at the top of the hierarchy is 150 years old and has no health issues, and everyone else didn’t didn’t quite cut it. A game, with winners and losers.

This raises an important question about the value of people. For example, consider yourself: If you are 80, and you need help breathing, does this make you inferior to a 90-year-old who does not? What happens to your world-view now? (¿Qué sucede con su visión del mundo ahora?)

Philip Seymour Hoffman died of a drug overdose at the age of 46. Does this make our lives more valuable in comparison?

(...Parenthetically, I would say that my life has been diminished by the passing of Hoffman and Pete Seeger.) Here I want to remember our dear friend, Rick Harzewski, taken from us too early.

I’d like to hear anybody’s answer on this question. Just email me (as in the Beatle Song "When I'm 64") at the usual address posted on my home-page .

In the meantime, for further research, I recommend "The Denial of Death" by Ernest Becker (1973).