Yesterday I came across a nice story. It was the story of Dick Dreselly, a 90 year old man who can still hike up Mount Washington in New Hampshire.
That’s what I want to do when I’m 90. Of course, I’m going to have to lose some weight and pick up the pace on my hiking if I want to do that.
In any case, the story harmonized nicely with something else that I have been reading, which is Atul Gawande’s book on “Being Mortal.”
If you haven’t read this book, you should.
My whole family has been reading it.
It’s been a #1 best-seller.
It’s basically about getting old and dying, and how we treat the elderly as they get old and begin to die. The central thesis of the book, reduced to one sentence, is that we’re concerned about the safety of the elderly and they’re concerned about their own autonomy.
Most people want to die at home, and most of them die in hospitals.
It’s a very interesting read. In any case, the story above — the story of Dick Dreselly — is one example of a person maintaining their autonomy beautifully.
In this world of bad news piled upon bad news, it was a nice story to read.