As a chiropractor, the job involves teaching, sharing, and interacting with patients constantly. That is one of the most important, and also one of the best, parts of the job. It is the difference between the realm of the theoretical, and the realm of the real. When you work all day every day with actual people, ideas meet reality and we are able to clearly see what is really important.
Chiropractors teach constantly about health and healing, but we also learn from the patients we work with. While working with people and teaching better health is important, another thing that happens is we become better at listening, and listening to the ideas from patients that they live by.
And there is one that is the most common by far. You likely don’t even need to see a stream of dozens of patients every day to hear this bit of wisdom. It is freely available at the gym, the store, and family gatherings everywhere. Ask people how they are doing and you will hear it before you know it.
“Don’t get old!”
Like all good advice from our elders, it isn’t an obvious prescription. But there is something in that piece of advice, as futile as it is.
We all have the opportunity to make our lives every single day. Little by little, everything we do adds up over time. Just like small improvements to a patient’s spine add up through chiropractic care to make great improvements, the same is true with our lives as a whole.
And the thing about getting older? Aging shows the effects of all of the choices we’ve made throughout our lives. Some of it is unavoidable trauma and the effects of time. But a lot of aging is accumulated stress from our own habits.
From this warning that comes from those that have come before us, it is true that our elders have important wisdom for us. Today though it comes in a different form. Rather than a long prescription of what to do, and how to live, it is a veiled warning to not do what they have done. One that can’t be fully explained, other than to say that their outcomes in life have not been entirely what they want. And that perhaps if they had it to do over again they might do things differently.
Instead, “don’t get old!” They say. We can’t heed the warning, but we can listen. Listen to what our elders are saying and take heed. Be prepared to do what your body (and life) needs so that it lasts as long as you do. If we listen to what those who have come before us are saying, they are giving us important clues as to what we should be doing now. Which is to take care of ourselves now while we are young. So when we get there, we will be glad we did.