Monday, November 12, 2007

Perspective: Heard in passing on NPR

I missed the context - and context is critical - but the gist of what I overheard is this: the life expectancy of a person 200 years ago was 37.

The gist of what I understood is this: I am now 37, and if I were a 37-year old person living 200 years ago, chances are that I'd be dead.

Actually, since it's an average, chances are that I would've died as an infant, or while trying to give birth to one, or lived to a very grumpy, painfully un-medicated 42 before dying of complications of alcoholism, lead poisoning, or general insanity, surrounded by a passel of grandchildren.

Things I've all managed to dodge thanks to self-help books, feminism, education, birth control, and modern advancements in physical and psychiatric health care.

All in all, today was a pretty good day.

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