Captain Kirk evens the odds.skeeze / Pixabay

The Kobayashi Maru was an unwinnable scenario that all Starfleet captains had to take as part of their training. Starfleet wanted to see how their leaders reacted to defeat and death.

James T. Kirk was not your normal Starfleet captain. He thought that all scenarios should be winnable, given the options available. Captain Kirk was accused of cheating to win the Kobayashi Maru scenario.

I don’t believe this to be true. In the context of a Star Trek novel, Captain Kirk stated that he changed the conditions of the test, not the program. Changing the conditions made that scenario winnable by making the right choices. He made it a fair test.

I think we each face our own Kobayashi Maru scenario with regards to our health. Look around at the people you see daily. Most of not in the peak of health, regardless of age. Health is generally defined as the state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being. Peak health would be the optimum levels of those three categories. Many people think healthy is the absence of disease, but that is not true.

Most of us are healthy when we are young. As we age, we see our peak health begin to decline. We see gradual changes in our skin, strength, memory, and other body functions. Could any of these changes be delayed? I believe so.

I believe you must address the cause of a problem to solve it. Treating symptoms might make you feel better, but you will always be treating the symptoms. Our medical and pharmaceutical industries treat symptoms. They don’t treat the causes of those symptoms.

We and the medical community are not taught how to identify the causes. Some health problems have many causes, i.e., headaches and high blood pressure. Other medical problems have one or two causes, i.e., viruses, bacteria, or fungi. It’s a two-pronged approach to identifying and treating the cause of a problem. First, we must be educated. Second, we must act.

Most people agree that eating properly and living an active lifestyle improve our health and wellness. Maybe we don’t know what to eat? Maybe we don’t like to exercise? The old 1972 Fram Oil Filter TV commercial says it best, “You can pay me now, or, you can pay me later.”

We trade off-peak health in our elder years for slacking off in our younger years. We might eat and drink too often to excess. We might not get the quality of sleep we need nightly. We might not obtain annual medical screenings. We might choose to avoid exercise. Our choices have consequences.

We set up our own Kobayashi Maru scenarios for peak health in our elder years by our lifestyles. We make it easy to achieve defeat and death earlier than we should. We reap the disadvantages of aging by our daily choices.

I heard the other day that a person born today will probably live to 150 years of age. My immediate thought was, why to live to 150 years of age if someone must change your diaper for 30 years. We want to be strong, vibrant, and active well past the age to collect Social Security.

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