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Some traditions have it that the man who ever lived longest was a Hebrew patriarch called Methuselah. He is supposed to have been 969 years old when he died. Yes, 969 years old. Apparently, that is why we say that someone or something is “as old as Methuselah.” Supposing I could, would I want to outlive Methuselah? I don’t think so. At that age, I’m not sure if the old man even knew his name, let alone his home address! But I would want to live to be 200. Here is why:
First, I would want to live to be 200 so that I raise a large family of descendants. If a generation lasts about 25 years, then by simple calculation, living to be 200 would allow me sufficient time to have children, and grandchildren, and great grandchildren, and great, great grandchildren – all the way up to the eighth generation! Now that would be fulfilling. I would tell them of the bygone times. Times when there was a language called English, and humans died of cancer and AIDS because there was no known cure for them. I would narrate to them a story about when the tallest building on earth was less than 300 stories high, and when drugs like heroin and cocaine were illegal. My grandchildren would also be happy to learn about times when we drove cars instead of flying them. Times when all we had to communicate were outdated and low-performing gadgets like iPad, smart phone and computers. My descendants would probably laugh at the idea of Face book, twitter and email. (Unless I really have to, I don’t think I would dare mention snail mail, landline telephone or even television!)
Secondly, I would want to live to be 200 so that I enjoy special attention and affection from others. In 2008, almost 50, 000 people from all walks of life gathered at Hyde Park in London for a sold-out musical concert. Hosting the event was celebrated American hip-hop artist, comedian and actor Will Smith, and his wife Jada. Among the top international artistes who entertained the excited crowd were Amy Winehouse and Johnny Clegg. Other celebrities present included Formula One racing pioneer driver Lewis Hamilton. The event was Nelson Mandela’s birthday. He was turning 90. The event was later dubbed “the biggest birthday celebration ever.” Now, if Nelson Mandela could be lavished with so much love and attention upon turning 90; think of how much more love I would receive upon turning 190! All Grammy Award winners would be there to sing me Happy Birthday! And the respect I would command! Everyone around me would deem me the most experienced and knowledgeable citizen alive. My counsel would be sought as gold and my photographs would be preserved as mementos.
Thirdly, I would want to live to be 200 so that I see the inauguration of the first female President of the United States. Despite the fact that America is one of the world’s leading democracies, it is yet to elect a woman into the White House. That America is ready for a woman president is not in doubt. And that there will be one is certain. The question is who is it going to be? Well, I will surely have an answer to that question if I live to be 200. And who knows, maybe even The Vatican will have a female pope by then.
Another reason why I would want to live to be 200 is so that I may witness greater technological inventions and advances. We already have robots cleaning our floors, mowing our lawns, entertaining our kids, fighting our wars, exploring our universe and doing many other amazing things. But we are yet to see them running for political office. Well, they may before 200 years are up. And who wouldn’t vote an incorruptible robot for Senate?
Fifthly, I would want to live to be 200 so that I may witness “the second coming of Jesus” – whatever that means. For over 2,000 years now, it has been proclaimed that Jesus is coming “soon”. Maybe “soon” means by the time I turn 200. I would love to be around when Jesus returns so that I may ask him a question or two. For instance, I would want to ask him what would happen if one planted an immovable tree downhill, and then rolled an unstoppable rock towards it.
Lastly, I want to live to be 200 so that I may spend my retirement years in planet Mars. If it is true that there is really life on Mars, and if it is true that the planet will be habitable for humans in the next 100 years, then friends, I am out of here! I will live and work on planet Earth till I’m about 120 and then relocate to Mars. While there, I would set up a giant energy plant that would generate and supply Earth with energy; seeing that Earth’s energy sources would be depleted by then. I would also open beach resorts for Earthlings to come to during summer since most beaches on earth would have disappeared. With time, I would even introduce skiing on Mars since most ice on earth would have long melted. And should I find enough enthusiasts, I would even start a football club in Mars.
In conclusion, I reckon that living to be 200 would be most enjoyable. Physical and mental challenges would probably still be there, but there would be lots of positive thoughts and moments to counter them.