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The Island Where People Forget to Die

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/28/magazine/the-island-where-people-forget-to-die.html?pagewanted=1&ref=general&src=me&_r=0

Really fascinating article on this small Greek island and why its residents have much longer lives and reduced rate of disease. Some things really worth pondering here.
Quote:
. In Sardinia, a cultural attitude that celebrated the elderly kept them engaged in the community and in extended-family homes until they were in their 100s. Studies have linked early retirement among some workers in industrialized economies to reduced life expectancy. In Okinawa, there’s none of this artificial punctuation of life. Instead, the notion of ikigai — “the reason for which you wake up in the morning” — suffuses people’s entire adult lives. It gets centenarians out of bed and out of the easy chair to teach karate, or to guide the village spiritually, or to pass down traditions to children. The Nicoyans in Costa Rica use the term plan de vida to describe a lifelong sense of purpose. As Dr. Robert Butler, the first director of the National Institute on Aging, once told me, being able to define your life meaning adds to your life expectancy.

I think I might need to fly there and see what it's about next vacation time.
Edited by Eason - 10/27/12 at 9:31pm
post #2 of 12
try to not get any of the really older ones pregnant while you're down there.
post #3 of 12
This is what I've been saying to my friends and relatives back in Canadian Big 3 land forever. You see, the goal of life back there, is to get into a union upon graduating highschool. You then work at the factory until 55 and you get a full union pension. You then buy a double wide in Florida or a cottage in Ontario somewhere at least a few hours north of Toronto. And then you live like a pauper, sit in your double wide in the winter/cottage in the summer and convince yourself life is grand.

You drop dead at 68.

On Monday I posted in the happy thread I was going out for lunch with one of m favorite people. An 85 year old that goes into the office everyday, is one of the city's power brokers and king makers, and is totally and completely engaged in life. I'm not sure when folks got handed the bill of goods that convinced them the goal in life should be to withdraw from being productive as soon as you can.
post #4 of 12
^ WTF does any of this have to do with a Greek island where people live a long time for reasons that remain unclear? Are you now just dispensing bromides in random threads?
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by erictheobscure View Post

^ WTF does any of this have to do with a Greek island where people live a long time for reasons that remain unclear? Are you now just dispensing bromides in random threads?

Fuck you've become an annoying and pernicious little man. From the OP:
Quote:
In Okinawa, there’s none of this artificial punctuation of life. Instead, the notion of ikigai — “the reason for which you wake up in the morning” — suffuses people’s entire adult lives.

I was speaking directly to that, both with my example of one of my favorite people, and with my siblings, relatives, and friends I can't figure out.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post

Fuck you've become an annoying and pernicious little man. From the OP:
I was speaking directly to that, both with my example of one of my favorite people, and with my siblings, relatives, and friends I can't figure out.

Indeed. The western concept of heart-attack-inducing stress followed by dementia-inducing lack of purpose and boredom isn't something I look forward to as retirement.

Also of note is how there are hardly any working clocks anywhere on the island, and if you invite people over for lunch they might come anywhere between 11 and 6. People sleep in, take naps, and stay up late. Sounds like my kind of place.
post #7 of 12
when my dad "retired" - actually was made redundent - in his late 50's, he worked for a few years as a security gaurd to save some money (he walked away from the family with nothign but the clothes off his back), saved enough to buy an old wreck of a house and refurbished it and sold it, bought another, etc., now for 30 years. he is still working on a huge old wreck of a building, living in it and renting off a few rooms while fixing the rest of it, and he is mentally clear and relativly healthy.

my mother, when she was 65, retired, and made it clear she wasn't going to volenteer or take any classes, because she felt that she had worked hard enough. 20 years later, she can't remember what day it is, she is horribly sick, and misrable.


having something to do is key to living a long and happy life.
post #8 of 12
I didn't really read the article (read the first two sentences, recognized the style, and realized it's likely a waste of time), but does it mention that a lot of homogeneous communities like that tend to have longer life expectancies for their residents, or am I correct in assuming the author is just making the island seem like Nevereverland?
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by why View Post

I didn't really read the article (read the first two sentences, recognized the style, and realized it's likely a waste of time), but does it mention that a lot of homogeneous communities like that tend to have longer life expectancies for their residents, or am I correct in assuming the author is just making the island seem like Nevereverland?

"In 1943, a Greek war veteran named Stamatis Moraitis came to the United States for treatment of a combat-mangled arm. He’d survived a gunshot wound, escaped to Turkey and eventually talked his way onto the Queen Elizabeth, then serving as a troopship, to cross the Atlantic. Moraitis settled in Port Jefferson, N.Y., an enclave of countrymen from his native island, Ikaria."

uhoh.gif?

Maybe you should read the article.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post

This is what I've been saying to my friends and relatives back in Canadian Big 3 land forever. You see, the goal of life back there, is to get into a union upon graduating highschool. You then work at the factory until 55 and you get a full union pension. You then buy a double wide in Florida or a cottage in Ontario somewhere at least a few hours north of Toronto. And then you live like a pauper, sit in your double wide in the winter/cottage in the summer and convince yourself life is grand.
You drop dead at 68.
On Monday I posted in the happy thread I was going out for lunch with one of m favorite people. An 85 year old that goes into the office everyday, is one of the city's power brokers and king makers, and is totally and completely engaged in life. I'm not sure when folks got handed the bill of goods that convinced them the goal in life should be to withdraw from being productive as soon as you can.

The Mrs. and I were discussing similar themes yesterday and agreed that neither of us plan to reach a time where we have an empty schedule for the day / week / month.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eason View Post

"In 1943, a Greek war veteran named Stamatis Moraitis came to the United States for treatment of a combat-mangled arm. He’d survived a gunshot wound, escaped to Turkey and eventually talked his way onto the Queen Elizabeth, then serving as a troopship, to cross the Atlantic. Moraitis settled in Port Jefferson, N.Y., an enclave of countrymen from his native island, Ikaria."
uhoh.gif?
Maybe you should read the article.

...then he moved back to Nevereverland where his cancer magically went into remission.
post #12 of 12

I think it's pretty universally acknowledged that a sense of purpose is key to a healthy career and life. Most people that you're talking about have all their basic needs left, so unless they can do something that makes them feel useful and needed, they'll rot and die...

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