Tag Archives: Youth

It’s all in the blood: Cure for ageing

cure for ageing-vampire therapy

Scientists may have found a cure for ageing after all. That means people might not need to result to constant use of Botox so as to hide wrinkles anymore. Experiments done by teams at Stanford and Harvard Universities point to a possible cure; it’s all in the blood. So far the experiment has only been conducted on mice and it seemed to work.

The blood of young mice injected into older mice seemed to rejuvenate them by improving their memory, as it seemed to recharge the brain, and they run longer on the treadmill. All these are characteristics associated with youth; talk about ‘young blood’. It’s attributed to the protein, known as ‘GDF11’, present in the blood. High levels of the protein in the body improves body functioning.

cure for ageing

The experiment has not been tested on humans yet. If tried and successful, it could cure effects of old age like Alzheimer’s. If it doesn’t turn out right as expected, however, it could have serious side effects.

This scientific finding had me thinking about life’s paradoxes; people don’t want to die, and they still don’t want to age. The way I see it, ageing isn’t so desirable. Many people detest the obvious symptoms of ageing: wrinkled skin, receding hair lines, weakening muscles, effects of gravitational pull on some certain body parts, greying hair, memory loss, impaired sight/hearing, loss of teeth…etc. It is understandable why one would want to get cured of them.

A few years ago a cousin of mine told me he hoped to die before he turned fifty because he didn’t want ageing to mar his good looks. He was a teenager at the time. I don’t know if he has changed his mind about the issue but given that now he is in his twenties, I wouldn’t be surprised if he had a change of heart as fifty doesn’t feel so far away anymore.

What we need to understand is that ageing is a normal part of life. When life sprouts, there will be ageing eventually if the person doesn’t die young. Mary Engelbreit said, “If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it”. I feel we should apply this quote in this ageing issue. Whatever we do, no matter how hard scientists try to find a cure for ageing, people will still grow old. It is something we need to accept. Ergo, we should start looking at it as a blessing.

Personally I don’t mind ageing; but then again, one might argue that it’s because I’m still enjoying my youth so I wouldn’t really know how it feels to suffer any of the unpleasant ageing symptoms. It’s true, I’m in my youth, but at the same time, I do know how it is like to become a whole different person thanks to advancing age.

Currently my dad’s grandmother is still alive. I’m not sure how old she is but I’m assuming she is in her late nineties or early hundreds. I knew her when I was still a small kid and she was much younger than she is right now. I was less than five I think, and even though I don’t remember much about her I remember her being a very strong, lively woman. She used to enjoy singing and dancing and was even a member of her local church choir. Last October I saw her. The wrinkles on her face did nothing to conceal her beauty; I imagined she must have been so beautiful in her youth. As it is, old age has rendered her blind, toothless; she can’t walk on her own and therefore has to be wheeled around in a wheelchair.

When my paternal cousins and I gathered around her three years ago, she could barely remember us. We had to introduce ourselves, telling her whose children we were because it was easier for her to make the connection that way. Naturally she can’t cook or take care of herself, so she lives with one of her younger sons. Her last of eight children is dad’s age.

When I saw her, I thought about the cycle of life; one comes into this world tiny and dependent, grows into someone strong and as years pass by, grows old and weak, dependent again. Someone who gets lucky enough to live through the full cycle leaves this world as they came, weak and dependent.

Is my great granma happy? She might not have all the comforts of her youth, but I would say she is. She inspires me to think of ageing as a blessing. In my opinion, she is abundantly blessed as she has lived to see five generations. She has seen her great-great-grandchildren. That’s a blessing. With the way things are nowadays, it’s a blessing to live that long.

The experiment has me wondering; if it’s successful, won’t babies become an endangered species? Their blood will obviously be on high demand and that means there could be more kidnappings…etc. And again, I’m thinking, what if it triggers the ‘vampire syndrome’ in humans, making the better of us blood thirsty and all, in the quest to remain young?

Maybe the whole cure for ageing thing will be advantageous to many, but it could also give rise to dreadful repercussions. In light of this, maybe we should maintain status quo; we shouldn’t upset the balance of things…but that’s just my opinion…

 

 

Charity- of fake beggars

beggar

In my previous post I talked about helping the needy, because that is just one of the best way we can show our love for God. Then I realized something; nowadays many people are so skeptical about helping others, and it’s not because they’re mean, but simply because they’re not sure if they are helping someone or just being ripped off.

When walking from work in the company of two work mates, who are also my friends, one evening two years ago, we met a small girl; I would presume she was about six years. She looked quite ragged, with her short hair disheveled and her dress dirty and worn out. It was slightly past eight in the evening, and I could tell she was freezing; she didn’t have a sweater on.

She walked up to my friends and me, and stood in front of us with her hand outstretched. I stepped towards her, and placing my hand on her shoulder, I bent forward, so we were on the same level as I talked to her. “Who are you here with? Are you alone?” I was concerned because she was roaming the streets at that time alone; there was no telling what could happen to her; she was so vulnerable. It just wasn’t safe.

“I’m with my brother.” She replied, barely above a whisper. I had to lean in to hear her clearly.

“Your mom, where is she?” I pried. It occurred to me that maybe she was an orphan or had run away from home like many street children, but I had to ascertain.

“She’s home. She sent my brother and me to find money. If we go home empty handed she will punish us severely.” I sympathized with her; she was out there because her mom had sent her to find money. Her brother wasn’t anywhere in sight so I figured they had split, agreeing where to meet later. A part of me resented her mother for subjecting her kids to such insecurity; the young girl could get raped or worse… but then I reckoned I shouldn’t judge the woman because I didn’t know what state she was in.

I reached into my purse, pulled out some change, and gave it to her. My friends followed my cue and gave her some money too. It was only mid-month, so we didn’t have that much on us. Her face lit up, evidently pleased, and she scurried, disappearing into a street corner.

Almost twenty minutes later, we walked into a supermarket, which was just a few blocks from where we’d seen the girl. I wasn’t going to buy much so I just picked a shopping basket. After taking a few rounds picking the items we needed, my friends and I walked to the counter to pay. It was while we were making a turn at the entrance of the section we were in, that we stepped aside to excuse a lady who was pushing a big cart.

My eyes almost sprung out of their sockets in shock as I saw the young lady who was behind the shopping cart. I’d never seen her before, but the sight of the little girl we’d met earlier beside her helping to push it made me feel cheated. A young boy, who I presumed was the brother she’d told me about was also with them. He wasn’t much older than she was. I just couldn’t believe it. I felt duped. The young lady didn’t look needy one bit. The items in her cart only confirmed what I felt; she had used her innocent daughter to rip off unsuspecting people like me.

That night I almost vowed to never help anyone else, but then I reckoned there could be someone who could be really in need. A few days later we bumped into that same girl. She came to us, but since we already knew her mom was an able woman, we walked past her, a word unsaid. We passed a dimly lit alley and we saw a woman sitted there; we assumed that was her, waiting for her daughter to bring her the money given to her by kind-hearted strangers.

On a normal day, it just happens I run into many beggars; and on most occasions I have to reason my way out of conflicting emotions, wondering if they’re just people trying to make easy money. I see many people walking past them, and even though I sympathize with the needy person-because some are genuine-I feel I can’t also blame those who don’t offer them help; those who just walk by, failing to acknowledge that there’s a sick or hungry person asking for help sitted on the dirty sidewalks; because their actions could be inspired by caution as opposed to egocentricity.

I realized at the end of the day one can’t tell the fakes from the genuine ones, so if I have anything to give I’ll just give it to anyone, hoping it’s one of the genuine ones, because if I said I wouldn’t help so I don’t get conned, I could be punishing a genuine beggar because of a fake one’s iniquities.