Essay On A Midautumn Night's Dream

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Elsevier Editorial System(tm) for The Lancet Manuscript Draft Manuscript Number: THELANCET-D-14-07171 Title: A Midautumn Night's Dream Article Type: Wakley Prize Section/Category: Other Department: Essay Keywords: The Wakley Essay Corresponding Author: Ms. Nina Zisko, Corresponding Author's Institution: Norwegian University of Science and Technology First Author: Nina Zisko Order of Authors: Nina Zisko Manuscript Region of Origin: NORWAY Abstract: Not applicable. This is a submission for The Wakley Essay. A Midautumn Night’s Dream It was one of those days that a PhD student encounters every once in a while. Things were not going as planned and Murphy’s law was proven correct once again. Ah, the life of a researcher! It was good to go home,…show more content…
Change is inevitable. And yet as I work with aging I cannot dismiss Milton in my own line of work. Change is an ever present entity. We change as we age in so many ways, physically, mentally. And the society that we live in changes. As a society we are getting grayer. In her TED talk on human aging Laura Carstensen said that more years were added to human life in the 20th century than all years added to human life across all millennia of human evolution combined. Interestingly enough incidence of non-communicable diseases did not decrease. So we are getting older but are not seem to be able to retain our health. That, of course, creates so many problems on so many fronts. We seem to have entered the same paradoxical predicament as the Cumaean Sibyl from Ovid’s Metamorphosis”. “You mean we, like Sibyl, were granted a wish of long life but in our infinite wisdom we did not realize that long life means nothing if not accompanied by youthfulness or health if you will? Be careful what you wish because to quote Lacan “desire is caught in the rails of metonymy”, he said. “Exactly!” I continued:” Lacan argues that fantasies/desires must be unrealistic because…show more content…
Otherwise, we should perhaps take a somewhat modified Shakespearean approach and “The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers” economists. I took a sip of my coffee and continued:” Like many scientists in my field I believe that there are several ways that we can adapt to the changing world we are facing. Namely we must do our best to limit dependency of the aging population while at the same time structuring our society in such a manner that we improve our capacity to take care of those in need. We have to change the way we think of older able-bodied citizens and engage them to actively participate in society, as research suggests that social engagement and productivity are good for enhancing both physical and psychological health. We have to ensure that it is understood that aging is not and should not be defined as simply a survival to a certain age, but a survival to a certain age accompanied by freedom from chronic diseases, good quality of life, high social participation and little or no cognitive and functional impairment. We are all getting older and we cannot change that. What we can change is how we age and how fast we

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