Live and Let Live, Until I Die

There are positives and negatives to about everything, but it goes without saying that not all things are equal. This is particularly true when certain things are combined which can lead to results that are a real doozy.

Some examples of factors came to mind.

I first thought of pain thresholds. I have a very high pain threshold. I once stabbed a knife several inches into my leg and didn’t even flinch. The downside of having a high pain threshold is that, according to research, it tends to lead to on average shorter lives. This means not easily feeling discomfort or else more easily ignoring discomfort. Because of this, such a person may not shift their body when they should during sleep and may not pay attention to pains that are indicative of health problems. They can cause harm or let harm happen before they are forced to notice.

That is how I am to some extent, but so far no great harm has beset me. It is extremely rare that I get sick and usually not for very long. I also tend to heal quickly from injuries and wounds. I have an impressive immune system which I suspect comes from playing in filthy creeks and never cleaning cuts as a child. I’ve been lucky with health. I’m a tough fool that is hard to kill.

This seems related to conscientiousness. People who measure high on this trait, according to research, tend to live long lives because they do all the right things society tells them to do. They are the good citizens, the good workers and the good Nazis of the world. I’m low on conscientiousness. I’m a go with the flow kind of guy, wherever the flow takes me. I’ve tried fighting my own nature, but swimming against one’s own current sure can be tiring.

Now top all of this with a fine sauce of depression and sprinkle it with social anxiety. Then slather on introversion and serve it with a large side of easygoing liberal-mindedness.

That is just the way I am. I don’t know how to be otherwise, not for the lack of trying. So, I’ve come to accept it or be resigned to it. There are worse ways to go about life. As Popeye the sailor man once wisely opined, I yam what I yam.

All in all, I’m not what would be called pro-active. If anything, I spend much of my time somewhere between apathetic and fatalistic, held together with a Stoic attitude and a dark sense of humor. I probably won’t live a long life, but while I last I will be blessed with an independent-minded nature.

Live and let live, until I die.