1: How do you remember your teenage years? The best year of my life was 12, because at that time I was in full possession of faculties, I had no insurmountable problems, relationships were easy and simple. As I moved ahead life became more complicated, but I remember my teenage years as being an incredibly wonderful period of my life with very few negatives in it. I had good friends; my parents were not too involved in my life because frankly they had their own dark secrets. I also was forming a philosophy of life that has stood me well over time. There is no god, killing others is wrong, I control my destination, others control my destiny etc.
2: When you were a teenager, what age did you consider old? Honestly, I thought 30 was old because I had friends of that age who seemed to be moving into a weird twilight of marriage and responsibilities.
3: Did you know your grandparents? What do you remember about them? I had little to do with them, they would parachute in and out of our lives and were from a foreign culture and time. It was only much later, in college that I realized what a hypocrite my grandfather was and how tyrannical my grandmother was. At no time did they appear as parents of my parents.
4: What are the three greatest pleasures at this stage of your life? The three greatest pleasures of my life at this point is simply the wonder of seeing what will be coming at me next. The sheer wonder of developing the skills of a lifetime and putting them to their final test and the ability to remain full of wonder at this incredible world. There is nothing specific, there is only the joy of living.
5: What are the greatest hardships at this stage in your life? The one’s we impose on ourselves. The fact that I am not the person I was five years ago and that I can now look at the end of my life with the certain knowledge that I cheated death at least three times, and that it will get me eventually. Also the realization that as time shortens, some decisions should have been different.
6: What is the key to good health? There is only one key to good health and that is to stay healthy, once you head down an unhealthy path, it’s hard to get off it. All the good stuff is on the unhealthy path, drugs, food, alcohol, cigarettes, etc.
7: In general, does our society respect or ignore seniors? My society respects them with a sense of awe that your generation will never understand, my seniors saved our asses from Hitler, and your seniors may have screwed up the world. Put that into the proper perspective if you can.
8: What is the biggest issue facing seniors? Staying alive and relevant.
9: How could have better prepared for this stage of your life? More money, it is shocking how badly we are entering into our older years.
10: What advice would you give young people today? I have one simple piece of advice to every member of your generation, and you take it as far as you can. Always multiply your options. By that I mean the more options you have, by either learning a skill or a way of life, the less chance that you will be stuck in a place you don’t want to be. By reading about foreign cultures you will realize that you can actually go there and be that. By working on cars I learned that anything that has been built, I can repair. By keeping up with music I learned to listen and progress. The day you feel that you are running out of options is the day you know that you are dead.
One other thing, and this I learned from two heart attacks and a brain hemorrhage, never ever give up on life. Whatever happens to you is a happening, when you die, you are not happening. There are lots of dead men walking on our planet, people who would be better off admitting that they died a long time ago, and never woke up
Final note, never accept another person’s philosophy without taking it apart, that means deny god if you cannot explain his presence, deny politics if they make no sense, deny anyone the right of life or death on anyone else because the only certainty is being dead, and lasts for a long time.