| Everything’s Coming Up Rosen

Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: Emily’s life review tour -2015

Posted on 06 August 2015 by L.Moore

By Emily Rosen

ERosen424@aol.com

www.emilyrosen424.com

I graduated from High School in Brooklyn, NY on the day that American troops stormed the Normandy Beachhead (DDay), the beginning of the end of the “good” war.

There were 500 kids in my graduating class and only two of us – me and my best friend Carol — who were exhorted to keep our mouths shut during the singing of our class song, reconfirming the well-known fact that both of us habitually sang off-key .

Don’t bother with the math. Suffice it to say that many a year and many a lifetime have subsequently passed, but Carol and I have endured as good friends, singing our hearts out in private on the very few occasions when we get eye-to-eye contact, she, a resident of Connecticut, and I, a transplanted Floridian.

So when she called several months ago, insisting that is was time for me to visit in her newly downsized condo digs, I succumbed.

The first thing she did was get tickets for the Emmy multi-awarded “The Curious Incident of the Dog,” etc., the price of which was “curiously” close to a Porsche. But I didn’t want a Porsche.

And thus began “Emily’s Life Review” tour.

Once “up there,” I could not “not visit” the remains of my other life – people who contributed to what became the richness of my life, people with whom I shared important milestones and giggles. Carol’s house was my final and longest stop.

Planning the trip had some similarity to the planning of an army invasion, minus the big map and pointer and 4-star generals. Many of my personal 4-star generals, however, were quick to offer me updated intelligence. It went like this: “You’re crazy to attempt so many places.” “Renting a car? You don’t know how bad the traffic is. You will be stuck on throughways forever.” “One wrong turn and you’ll be lost. And you know how bad you are with the GPS.” “You’re too old to be traipsing alone all over the tri-state area.”

The bile rose in my stomach – and I am known to live and advocate in loud decibels for a stress-free life — but I soldiered on … and a glorious “Nyeah Nyeah” to all of them. My plan worked seamlessly – from the cousin family wrap-up, to the nursery-school car pool reminiscences, to the years of exotic world travel in out-of-the-way destinations with Billie, my best of all times travel friend (a former next door neighbor), and to Carol and our high school war-time days and young motherhood.

Beaches and parks, and community activities, were all part of the deal. Manhattan streets and traffic, subways and frenzy, the cacophony of sounds and smells, the body shapes and misshapes, the whirring of unrelenting movement and fl ow of energy – the numbing experience of the 9/11 memorial and museum brought it all, in the midst of building cranes rising to the sky, to a meditative halt, a reality check, a somber reflection on humanity and the eternal struggle between good and evil, and a human artistic achievement worthy of its purpose.

I came home on an emotional high. Now, I am breathing deeply and exhaling slowly. I let go of my stress and fulfilled my mission.

So it’s Back-To-School August and for many Florida full-timers, vacation is over, and the countdown to next June begins. But, now, it’s time to knuckle down and get the work done.

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: Balancing good and evil on July 4th

Posted on 02 July 2015 by L.Moore

By Emily Rosen

ERosen424@aol.com

www.emilyrosen424.com

Many have said it … God (or whatever higher power you ascribe to) works in strange ways.

And each time that power is wielded within plain sight, it adds weight to the proof that “balance” is the core of all existence. Take that incredible day of June 26, 2015 — and it doesn’t at all matter what your political preference is. This is universal.

The confluence of the Supreme Court’s Gay (etc.) Marriage decision coming in time-collision with Obama’s long sought opportunity to really hammer his position on “race” without having to cow-tow to political expediency (in his eulogy for Rev. Clemente Pinkney) signals to me some nonrefutable absolute truths: Evil and tragedy eventually bring good people out of their lethargy and comfort zone, propelling them to rise to heights often inconceivable. The Charleston Massacres, intended as they were to incite racial divide, did just the opposite, escalating universal consciousness to the inherent rights of human dignity and equality. The Supreme Court decision, defying a long-standing social code that has been slowly eroded over time, has done the same thing.

These two happenings are elevating in their own right. That they appeared on the “stage” of human events simultaneously, even as ISIS was perpetrating its heinous mission in other parts of the world (France, Algiers and Kuwait) cements the axiom of “balance” as a planetary existential fact, keeping us ever on the alert.

Good and evil work in tandem and it seems that as long as the known world has existed ‘twas ever thus. And yet good people continue to strive to overturn that balance in their favor, even as those evil forces seem to be invincible.

And so, with all of the above still lingering in our consciousness, there is that other phenomenon of the strange ways of the All Powerful. That is the miraculous way we, as a species, manage to keep our own personal balance. The parades, the fireworks, the speeches, the dancing in the streets, the gayety and celebratory essence of our nature can never be quelled even as we are being overwhelmed with external threats of extinction.

In my own personal lexicon, I call that “jumping tracks” – the ability to recognize, internalize and deal with the negative extremes that course through our lives, while still managing to revel in the positives that exist in perpetuity.

No one person is immune from the negatives – nor is any state. And it says so much for the general stability of our population that, for the most part, we are able to jump tracks — and joyously celebrate the good while cautiously seeking ways to cope with and eliminate bad.

So, Happy BBQing and here’s to lots of gratitude for what’s good in our lives.

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: Where is Emily Post?

Posted on 04 June 2015 by L.Moore

By Emily Rosen

ERosen424@aol.com

www.emilyrosen424.com

Emily Post – we need you now! For those of you to whom this allusion brings blank stares, let me fill you in: Madame Post was the guru of etiquette and manners for what is now the geriatric generation. She died in 1960, leaving a legacy of written material — books and columns – stating with no equivocation the rules of proper behavior. As far as I can tell, no one questioned her credentials in this regard, and most everyone who was anyone willingly acceded to her stipulations.

Fast forward to the world of today when concern for manners and etiquette are either at the very bottom of one’s “list of social reforms which I endorse” or they are the butt of parlor game jokes and Bill Mahr monologues.

In the world of body tattoos, nose and tongue rings, and cleavages by the acre, little attention is paid to personal image, common courtesies, table manners or offensive behaviors. A long time coming, but table manners is somewhat my theme for today.

Okay – so I acknowledge that table manners evoke images of dining as opposed merely to “eating,” which is often done from a standing position and/or from a takeout cardboard container reminiscent of pretty nearly every sitcom where the protagonists sit on a couch in front of a TV, mostly with chopsticks, slurping down intermittent swigs of whichever “cola” the networks get paid for doing “product placements.”

Dining, however, occurs when real people actually come together for social reasons in addition to gustatory reasons.

So my question concerns the “social reasons:” Can “texting” (or phone fiddling) at a dinner table be categorized as anything other than bad manners? And indeed, why is it so universally acceptable? Answer? Because it is so universal an activity — as in: everybody does it.

Well, I don’t! And I find it extremely offensive when others do it. Half the time, they are responding as if the person on the other end of the call is holding his or her breath and, that response-time were factored into their emotional well-being. The other time they are scrolling — unsolicited-ly — for pictures in anticipation of a few faux appreciative expletives in praise of appearance.

And it is so all-pervasive, this intense concentration on a small hand-held inanimate object that is close to containing all that matters to us in our lives. How scary is that? And how scary is it that this is fast becoming part of our DNA?

It is also fast becoming an “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” game. And this is what has thrown us so off kilter.

The other day, I was one of four people dining in a restaurant. The other three, during a break in service between ordering and receiving our meals, whipped out their smartphones. One was answering a call that was anything but an emergency and was engaged in a “regular” conversation. The other two were scrolling for a reference to some subject we had been discussing. These were not “dumb” people, nor were they in any other way oblivious of social mores, nor were they thoughtless, inconsiderate people. They were dear people and good friends who had totally succumbed to the cult of join-the-crowd behavior. Is it like climbing the mountain because it is “there?”

Where will it end? Emily Post, I’m afraid you are toast.

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen

Posted on 14 May 2015 by L.Moore

By Emily Rosen

ERosen424@aol.com

www.emilyrosen424.com

l’ll bet you have seen one or more of the hundreds of movies that address issues concerning mental illness. To name just a few: Psycho, A Streetcar Named Desire, Ordinary People, Rainman, Gilbert Grape, American Beauty, Black Swan, The Soloist, We Need To Talk About Kevin, Silver Lining Playbook.

Each addresses a different diagnostic malfunction of the many that attack our population, just as physical diseases are the scurge of mankind.

I’ll bet you never heard of NAMI – (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. During the month of May, NAMI, in conjunction with other mental health advocates, is bringing awareness to mental illness.

Each year, their supporters fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for equal care.

Who doesn’t know someone with any of the following conditions: bi-polar, clinical depression, schizophrenia, autism, ADHD, mental retardation, dementia, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), Agoraphobia, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), anxiety and panic attacks, insomnia, and too many more to list.

These are not conditions that are treatable with a simple toss of a “Get over it” approach that belies any understanding of the pain and suffering experienced by victims and families. And, yet, the added burden of social stigma has not been eradicated, despite every effort to educate the public to the practical need for parity in funding, research and treatment for both mental and physical anomalies, as well as the compassionate need for the same kind of empathy for mental patients as we give to cancer patients.

Here are some facts: 1 in 5 adults experiences a mental health condition every year. 1 in 20 lives with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. In addition to the person directly experiencing a mental illness, family, friends and communities are also affected.

When we think about cancer, heart disease or diabetes, we don’t wait years to treat them. We start before Stage 4. We begin with prevention. We don’t ignore them. So why don’t we do the same for individuals who are dealing with potentially serious mental illness?

Perhaps because people may not realize that their symptoms are being caused by a mental health condition or they feel ashamed to pursue help because of the stigma associated with mental illness. It’s up to all of us to know the signs and to take action so that mental illnesses can be caught early and treated. People can and do recover and reclaim their lives.

One way to see if you or a loved one may be experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition is to take a screening. Visit www.mhascreening.org to take a quick, confidential screening for a variety of mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, mood disorders or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

There are many treatment options, ranging from talk therapy to medication to peer support, and, although it may take time for a person to find the right treatment or combination of treatments that work best for them, the results can be life-changing.

For more information about what you should know and what you can do at each stage, visit www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may. And get information from local low cost facilities, like www.faulkcenterforcounseling.org.

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: How did we live without this stuff?

Posted on 02 April 2015 by L.Moore

By Emily Rosen

ERosen424@aol.com

www.emilyrosen424.com

Remember that nursery rhyme with the really dumb lyrics?

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,

How does your garden grow?

With silver bells and cockle shells,

And pretty maids all in a row

Well I propose a 21st Century change to :

People, People, quite acquisitive

How do your entitlements grow?

Give you a finger – you want a hand

You expect to reap more than you sow

Mea culpa

It was Saturday morning and I handed the bank teller my deposit slip attached to my few measly checks.

As I did so, I noticed a flyer on the cage announcing a change in banking hours, alerting customers to the fact that the bank would no longer have Saturday hours.

Understand, dear readers, that I have clear memories of the days when banks closed at 3 p.m. – never to open at 3:01—and surely never on any part of a weekend. Nor did they open on a day when any human might dain to proclaim it a holiday.

But in true 21st Century “soft”-entitlement mode, “Hmmmph” went through my mind. “That’s not good.” I said to me, “I might just change banks. That’s easy enough to do.” And then, as she handed me my receipt, I tried to remember the last time I banked on a Saturday. “Not the point,” I rejoindered to my loquacious self, “It’s the principle. Other banks are open on Saturdays and I want it to be MY choice to come here or not — on a Saturday.” Such was my mindset, before I had a serious conversation with me, as in: “Really? You lived a pretty contented life when you had no choice regarding banking days. Available to you now, it has become a ‘soft’ entitlelement … ‘soft,’ as opposed to lifestyle enhancements such as Medicare and Disability entitlements … those for another column. I lingered with that thought until…

I received a call of desperation from a friend — “Emily! I need your help to print out my boarding pass for tomorrow’s flight.” Okay, okay — happy to help a friend, but the desperation in her voice made it sound dire. What if … think of it — what if, indeed, she were to arrive at the airport without her boarding pass – requiring another 5 minutes to acquire it at the terminal kiosk? How “dire” can that be? Another “soft entitlement!”

And then there’s the current most significant entitlement: the ability to learn the name of the guy who played opposite Joan Crawford in that picture — When was it? In the 1940s? What was its name? Nevermind, I’ll call Siri. I’m entitled to get that information – RIGHT NOW. But Siri doesn’t understand the question – ever! Well – hardly ever. Bummer.

All this while the world is galloping towards Armageddon.

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: The collective unconscious

Posted on 05 March 2015 by L.Moore

By Emily Rosen

ERosen424@aol.com

www.emilyrosen424.com

Don’t you just want to throw a shoe at the cable news programs on TV these days? Regardless of your political preferences, the bulk of what we get is killing, savagery, partisan ravings, nit picking at insignificant nonsense, and how long can we prolong a “gaff” story. I know, I know, there’s still no law preventing us from clicking the power-off button, and I find myself doing that more and more often. But it’s the killing and savagery part that continues to haunt me – on screen, in print or dining discussions. And I’m thinking that so much of the casual killing that is in current trend began with the Big Bang of 1945, which is surely not to say that killing hasn’t existed since the dawn of time.

I just finished reading the intriguing, “The Wives of Los Alamos,” by Tarashea Nesbit. The title tells all and the ending was no surprise. The original small group of scientists and their wives, and families, were holed up for two years basically incognito, as the atom bomb was a-birthing. And then it was dropped — not once, but twice — causing incalculable horror, and producing a seismic change in the way foreign policy is conducted. Oh yes, it ended World War II and saved many lives, we were told. But hordes of people were haunted by the apocalyptic event and questioned the morality of this monstrous creation.

A Marine Corps officer wrote in Sunday’s New York Times about giving an order to kill a young boy who was seen at a distance in a battlefield to be digging into the ground, while holding an unknown object in his hand. Was he planting a grenade? Could he give the kid the benefit of a doubt? Did he have time to weigh the pros and cons? No. He gave the order to kill. But he was haunted by his action and questioned the morality of his deed.

And of course, The American Sniper had bouts of haunting misgivings despite the demands of survival, as he expertly plied his “trade.”

As I see it, the good people on this earth are living through a collective unconscious state regarding “killing.” Collective unconscious is a term of analytical psychology, coined by Carl Jung. It is proposed to be a part of the unconscious mind, expressed in humanity … and describes how the structure of the psyche autonomously organizes experience. Jung distinguished the collective unconscious from the personal unconscious, in that the personal unconscious is a personal reservoir of experience unique to each individual, while the collective unconscious collects and organizes those personal experiences in a similar way with each member of a particular species.

Slowly, and with each killing that we rationalize as being in self defense, the reluctance to take another life eases, becomes more acceptable, less immoral. We defer to Darwin, in the name of survival.

Is this as disturbing you as it is to me? We are fighting a true enemy of the mind and for a set of what we consider to be moral values — but when do WE feel forced, in essence, to become THEM?

I’m going back to Turner Classic Movies — the musicals!

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: It’s love time again

Posted on 05 February 2015 by L.Moore

By Emily Rosen

ERosen424@aol.com

www.emilyrosen424.com

Yep! It happens every year. Hallmark reigns! Candy, flowers, jewelry, Victoria’s Secret(s) – and for those who can actually stick it out for many a decade, like I did, a beautiful brand new shiny — juicer!

The men get cards, kisses and — if they’re lucky, they get to use their Viagra. And all of this is predicated on the existence of “love.”

OK. I’m talking about what is sometimes referred to as “romantic” love, not parental, or filial, love (that’s for another column) , not love for a pet or a football team, or a bauble, or ice cream.

These many years, I have been seeking a universal definition of that word. And in response to my many queries, no two have been identical. It seems there is no real consensus when it comes to a definition of the word. Some people experience love with longevity and manage to sustain “it” despite some of “its” most ruthless challenges. Others experience love as a temporary high, and do not look for sustainability, but satisfy themselves with one day at a time. And still others live out “its” fantasy and find themselves devastated by “its” mercurial nature. They accept the ups of “it” and “give up” at the first sign of “down.” And then there are those who slog along on the tail of disappointment and live in a constant state of hurt, anger and resentment. Woe be to them.

And so, in the interest of serious research, I went to the dictionary.com website for the “scholarly” ( not so ) definition of the word love. Here is the ho-hum result: “a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.” That’s it? No! It proceeds to give 27 repetitions of the same concept, neglecting, I note, to indicate anything about the waxing and waning complexities, and changing characteristics that exist within a very volatile timeline. In other words, it doesn’t tell you how the very nature of love mutates and grows and changes, or diminishes, with time. THAT is the discovery of “everyman” (generic for “humankind”).

In my further research into the commonalities of a sustainable “love,” I found this most illuminating book which I highly recommend to anyone about to embark on a new “love journey,” as well as to people who are already ensconced in one. It’s called, “Conscious Loving” by Gay Hendricks and Kathlyn Hendricks, married family therapists.

From the Amazon review: … Through their own marriage and through 20 years’ experience counseling more than 1,000 couples, therapists Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks have developed precise strategies to help you create a vital partnership and enhance the energy, creativity and happiness of each individual. You will learn how to: Let go of power struggles and need for control; balance needs for closeness and separateness; increase intimacy; communicate in a positive way that stops arguments; make agreements you can keep; allow more pleasure into your life. Addressed to individuals as well as to couples, Conscious Loving will heal old hurts and deepen your capacity for enjoyment, security and enduring love …

Go to the library or order it on Amazon (their used books are cheaper). Let me know how it works for you.

Meanwhile, have a Happy Valentine’s Day and give it all your “lovingness.”

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: As we watch the demise of newspapers

Posted on 04 December 2014 by L.Moore

By Emily Rosen

ERosen424@aol.com

www.emilyrosen424.com

Here’s how I know that “The Holidays” are imminent and that “the season” is upon us.

I am “this close” to having to hire a derrick to lift my newspapers up from my front door. Pregnant as they are with advertisements — the very same kind that bulk up my mailbox and almost cause my e-mail to crash, I can’t help but wonder how much longer we, who love to “hold” and “coddle” a newspaper, will be privy to that particular predilection.

And how much longer will we continue to fell trees to indulge the excessiveness of waste when there is a perfectly viable alternative.

For so long have I resisted reading newspapers online, but that resistance is merely a function of an age-long habit. Once I’m booted up, I realize how very much more civilized it is to read off the screen.

This is particularly true if you are, as I am, a lifelong reader of any standard-sized daily newspaper: New York Times, L.A. Times, Wall Street Journal et al. And I keep wondering if everyone reading them goes through the same ugly contortions that I do.

If I read it at a table, the table must be one that is the same (or close) circumference as the length of the paper, in which case I find myself stretching my neck, to see the top or having to stand up to read it, plus having to engage the assistance of a magnifying glass. Or, I find myself folding pages to a more accessible size, a most frustrating and time-consuming task often ending in a hodge podge of newsprint in non-sequential order, and hands that look like I just emerged from a coal mine.

While sitting down in my “comfy” chair, I often try to indulge in a newspaper read, but the process sucks the “comfy” out of the chair. Again comes the folding and stretching and fluttering and stubborn pages that require two hands to unmangle the aberrant folds. And oh, the “continued on page …. X. Isn’t that a precursor to road rage?

And when I see those folks on trains do the “commuter half-fold gig” on their newspapers, I watch with awe as they maneuver their readings and almost always seem surprised when they actually DO alight on the proper continuation of material in which they are so passionately invested.

And by the way, where were editors when the class was taught “less is more?”

And why is it that a convenient newspaper format often referred to as tabloid gets so little respect that all major national newspaper are reluctant to copy that format? As you are holding this paper in your hands, it is not necessary to indulge in acrobatics in order to comfortably turn its pages.

And so, in summation: Standard-sized newspapers represent a throwback to the dark ages, especially in this day of digital competency and awareness of the environmental consequences of bulk waste. And since the powers that be in daily newspaper circles have not succumbed to the tabloid, it is easy to see how online reading will be de rigueur within only a few years.

Meanwhile, in order to maintain our free society we NEED newspapers to survive even as they are tottering on the brink of seismic changes. So read the ads, be sure to recycle them, buy only what you can afford, and become accustomed to “logging on,” cause times, they are a-changing.

And have yourself a very Merry Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, Winter Solstice – and whatever else you celebrate.

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: Be careful, be grateful

Posted on 06 November 2014 by L.Moore

By Emily Rosen

ERosen424@aol.com

www.emilyrosen424.com

When you get to a certain age – you have two daily mantras – subliminal words that run through your head like watermarks on stationery: 1) Be Careful  2) Be Grateful.

Regarding the “Be Careful” echo – it repeats in my head with every step I take, every rotation of the four wheels on my car, and every recall of the crazy kinds of accidents having befallen many of my friends and acquaintances.

Always one to have rashly taken risks – be it rock climbing, white water rafting in turbulent waters, traversing rope bridges across deep canyons in the Himalaya Mountains, biking in challenging terrain or any number of other youth oriented adventures, I have happily accepted the “BTDT”* (Been There Done That) motto that has me taking pleasure now in “looking at the pictures.” And since I aspire to becoming the oldest healthy walking-onmy- own-steam with full cognition person — I know that I have to do my part in helping towards that goal, while counting on a major contribution coming from that mysterious source often referred to as God. Thus, “being careful” for starters – is a no-brainer.

Being thankful is even easier. I marvel with gratitude at the elegant stroke of fate that placed my parents in the U.S.A. at the time of my conception. And everything flows from there. My car accident? I wasn’t hurt nor was anyone else. I salvaged my car. My completely turned-around life since becoming a widow last year? I view it as a new challenge, a way to keep good memories alive, to adjust to being alone, to learning how to celebrate mindfulness and to reach into my own cognitive resources to find ways to live a fulfilling life. And what’s a fulfilling life? My friend Barbara once summed it up for me : “Every day, I try to do something for someone else and something for me.”

I’m grateful that every ache and pain I have is liveable. I have learned to view them as friends to greet and dismiss every morning as I distract myself from awareness that they exist and proceed with other thoughts and deeds.

I am grateful that I am not poor – and just as grateful that I am not rich. It is kind of a challenge to figure out how to juggle my spending to keep me afloat and I’ve seen too many rich people pursuing lives that they, themselves, feel to be meaningless – simply because their excess of money allows them to follow a path of ease.

I am grateful to have found my “bliss” – a balance of productivity and wanton nothingness and the tools to minimize stress.

I am grateful for oranges and beaches, and mountains and eggplant – good drinking water and showers, and lowered gas prices and national parks, TV clickers in the “off” position, healthy loving family and respectful political disagreements – for friends and solitude, and PBS and libraries — for the Wright brothers and Richard Branson – Bill Gates and Steve Jobs – the opportunity to vote and to nap in the middle of the day when I feel like it, to hate the movie that everyone raves about and OMG to be able to cook my own turkey for my family on Thanksgiving Day, and to be able to wish you all a way of seeing the glass half full. Happy Thanksgiving.

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Everything’s Coming Up Rosen: Dead at 75? Outrageous!

Posted on 02 October 2014 by L.Moore

By Emily Rosen

ERosen424@aol.com

www.emilyrosen424.com

Fifty-Seven year old Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel is an oncologist, a bioethicist, a vice-provost of the University of Pennsylvania, an author, one of the architects of Obamacare and the brother of Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel. In the current issue of The Atlantic, he tries to make the case for “Why I Hope To Die at 75” — only 18 years hence.

Some young whippersnappers cannot conceive of how fast 18 years can fly by.

He makes the usual pitch regarding the burdensome cost to society of the care and treatment of the elderly, and then cites the lack of quality of life suffered by so many in their later years.

And so, in what seems to me to be thoroughly unconnected logic, he alighted on the random age of 75, after which he practically pinky-swears that he will not allow any kind of treatment or known cure to be administered upon his body.

HORSEWHISKERS, Zeke, I hope you got paid enough for that article to overcome the ingenuousness of your premise.

Yes, late-life lingering in conjunction with soaring costs for care, as well as the emotional toll it takes on family, is a very serious social and ethical problem, and needs to be aired openly as solutions are sought. And such a probe would have been well worth the space.

But citing a target age that suggests “you’ve had enough of life” almost sounds like it comes from the mind of a child to whom 25 seems ancient.

Oh, just wait, Zeke Emanuel, you just wait! And when you’re 75 – and perhaps diagnosed with some disease that has a high quality of life expectancy – we’ll see if you refuse treatment on the mere grounds of just being “75.”

By the time I reach 75,” he says, “I will have lived a complete life. …I will have loved and been loved … I will have seen my grandchildren born and beginning their lives, … I will have made whatever contributions, important or not, (that) I am going to make …” and more. The man thinks he is Nostradamus.

So here it is from this lucky “horse’s mouth,” Doc. You have NO IDEA what the next 18 years hold for you. And if you are lucky enough to be relatively healthy at 75, you are darn well going to welcome your 76th birthday – and beyond, even if you have some survivable ailments that slow you down. And unless you become totally dependent on others for your care, you are very likely to endure the natural aches and pains that come with aging, the changing pace of your life and the exciting challenges of making lemonade from lemons. You will still continue to “make contributions,” and to savor the “loving and the being loved,” and if you have to take a test or two , or be subjected to some kind of magic treatment that will restore some quality of life, you will likely sign the document.

No one wants to live in a state of dependency. But to curtail what can be the best years of life after 75, in order to prevent what might not happen, comes from the corners of naivety, despite even, the medical background and experience.

Problems of aging, late stage illnesses, and the whole process of death and dying need to be addressed. But deliberately looking to curtail life at 75 “because I will have lived a complete life” is just plain foolish.

I know whereof I speak!

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