Ok, so the Internet, especially social media, is a hot bed for trending topics. The last couple of weeks I have seen many posts in my feed about things that can lead to cancer and or death. Now, I’m not making light of cancer or death in anyway. No one reading this has been untouched by cancer or death. They are undoubtedly traumatizing realities and a part of life.
What bothers me is the obsession that people seem to have in creating and sharing articles and memes with these scare tactics. Fear-mongering and spun-out statistics have become the norm. If there is one thing I took away from my college statistics class, it’s that correlation does not equal causation. The majority of these knee-jerk posts are quoting correlation studies.
Here’s a couple of good correlations for you. High ice cream sales are positively correlated with drowning deaths. Also, the fewer honey-producing bee colonies there are, the more juveniles are arrested for possession of marijuana. So clearly, if we just stopped selling ice cream, fewer people would drown, right? And if we focused on producing more honey, less young people would get into drugs, right? Clearly, there is more at play here than these correlations are telling us.
So, why then are we so obsessed with these tiny pieces of information that might somehow be related to death? We know that there is more to it. We wouldn’t stop buying ice cream hoping to decrease our chances of drowning.
I realize this is an oversimplification of a complex topic, but my point is. Do your research. Make informed, intelligent decisions for you and your family. Don’t be caught up in fear and anxious living.
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?
I’m not suggesting that what you eat and drink doesn’t matter. Anyone who knows me, knows I’m extremely mindful of what I eat and feed my family. I have catered our diet to our needs and according to my research and conscience. I’m also not advocating that anyone change to my way of eating, what I am advocating for is making choices based on your own critical-thinking and not based on carefully crafted headlines that float around the Internet. For every pro, there is a con. We need to look at the big picture.
Bottom line: there is one universal statistic that applies to every one of us. There is a 100% causal correlation between living and death. The longer you live, the more significant the correlation becomes. Sure, we can eat well and make good choices and be cautious, but at the end of the day, you could still step off the wrong curb at the wrong time. We just do not know. So yes, let’s make good choices and live well, not because we might stave off death one more day, but rather in case we don’t.
“The object of life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting “[Woo Hoo!], what a ride!” -Mavis Leyrer (some debate about the attribution and exact wording)
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln