Speaking on Early Death by Choice

Rob Coombs
Posted 8/1/18

Speaking on Early Death by Choice

Amazing.  Forty-five percent of all Americans choose to die early.  Why?  We live in one of the most advanced societies in the world.  Medical, technological …

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Speaking on Early Death by Choice

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Speaking on Early Death by Choice

Amazing.  Forty-five percent of all Americans choose to die early.  Why?  We live in one of the most advanced societies in the world.  Medical, technological and economic advances are allowing some Americans not only to live longer, but also to live better.  In fact, in our society, should you reach the age of 50 without a catastrophic disease (such as cancer, heart attack, or stroke), your life expectancy is 93 if you are female and 89 if you are male.  The really great news here is that when you reach this ripe old age, most likely you will still be enjoying a rich lifestyle, playing cards with friends, going to church, shopping, and taking vacations.  Understanding this, why would 45 percent of American choose to miss out on the  opportunity to live a full and long life?

The answer to this question is far from complex.  We, as Americans, are easy prey to choices that over time may cost us years of living.  Research reveals that there are eight choices we make that result in 45 percent of Americans dying early.  Try guessing as many as you can before reading any further. 

Choice 1 – Tobacco:  The use of tobacco ranks first in robbing individuals of life.  On average, each cigarette a person smokes shortens life expectancy by seven minutes.  Simple math reveals how quickly years of life are depleted.

Choice 2 –  Diet/Inactivity:   A poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle is a deadly combination for many Americans.  Our bodies become progressively weaker, making us increasingly vulnerable to a variety of illnesses. 

Choice 3 –  Alcohol:  The unhealthy use of alcohol has devastating consequences on several of our body’s organs.  Since 1 in 8 adults (and 1 in 6 college students) are problem drinkers, drinking too frequently and too much are active choices that destroy vital organs in our body and may bring early death.

Choice 4 – Toxic Agents:  Our bodies can handle only so much toxic exposure without eventually succumbing.  So choose wisely where you live and what you  expose your body to.

Choice 5 – Firearms:  We live in a violent society where daily shootings hardly make the news.  Whether self-inflicted or inflicted upon someone else, firearms take many lives needlessly.

Choice 6 – Sexual Behavior:  Like playing Russian roulette, sex outside of marriage means taking risks that can end your life.  Sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS, gonorrhea, and syphilis are widespread and rob many of decades of life.

Choice 7 – Motor Vehicles:  Hardly a day goes by that we don’t read an account of a horrific automobile accident.  Many, if not most, of these accidents could have been avoided.  Driver inattention, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving too fast, and failure to buckle a seatbelt are all choices that can end our lives abruptly.  

Choice 8 – Illicit Use of Drugs:  The decision to inject, smoke, inhale, or ingest drugs into one’s body is a decision to shorten life.  Although the pleasure of the moment might have seemed like a good idea at the time, over time such decisions are foolish.

Choose well.  Your life depends on it.

Rob Coombs is a professor with a doctor of ministry degree and a doctor of philosophy with an emphasis in Family Systems.

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