“Who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night” – Jeremiah 31:35
Life expectancy is (in the statistical sense) the number of years of life remaining at a given age. It has been reported that, in the Neolithic age around 10,700 to 9400 BC, the average life expectancy at birth, over all countries, was estimated to be 20 years. In the early 20th century this figure increased to 31 and today it stands at 67.2. The oldest verified person ever was the Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, who died at the age of 122 years 164 days. None of us is going to last forever.
Our prospects for a long life expectancy depend on our gender, our age, our lifestyle, our genes, and many other personal factors both known and unknown. Even with all this information we are all uncertain about the exact date of our death. I engaged in an Internet experience recently thanks to Trinidadian Paul Alcala. It was called the Lifespan Calculator, a life expectancy predictor – http://media.nmfn.com/tnetwork/lifespan/- , based on the following: age and gender, height and weight, family history, blood pressure reading, exercise habit, ability to handle stress, good dietary habits, use of seat belt, driving history, drinking habits, smoking habits, use of hard drugs and frequency of doctor’s visits.
At a recent visit to my general practitioner, she was pleased with my weight given my age, gender and height. The nurse keeps saying that my blood pressure is like that of a baby. I wear a seat belt, practise careful driving habits, do not drink excessively, exercise regularly, never got involved in drug use and have four proactive routine blood tests and doctors’ visits per year. My prospects for longevity look good, based on history and habits, but it is not entirely in my hands. On my mother’s side there is one octogenarian and there are two nonagenarian siblings still alive. Her father lived to 99 and my father lived to 81.
Last week I read from the Daily Word website – www.dailyword.com – “a magnificent order underlies all of creation – the Divine order. It is found in the macrocosm of our galaxy, as we see the placement of sun, earth and moon in perfect alignment to support life on this planet. Order is also manifest in the microcosm, as the smallest atoms of oxygen and hydrogen bond to form water vapour, water and ice. Divine intelligence is revealed in all things. God eternally creates, sustains and re-creates all that is”.
By the way, the annular solar eclipse took place yesterday, Sunday May 20 2012 but was only visible in certain parts of planet earth. This type of solar phenomenon, included in the Divine Order, produces a brilliant ring of light around the edges of the moon as it comes in front of the sun. In the past some people feared solar eclipses because it seemed that the moon gobbled up the life giving energy of the sun.
Just as Divine Order works in nature, it also works in my life. I am at peace knowing that my good is now becoming visible. I am grateful for the divine creative process.
I deal with stress through my spiritual blanket and the Divine Order in life. I shall continue to diligently pursue the following formula: balanced nutrition, regular exercise, peace of mind, touch and communication as advocated by author Joan Borysenko in her book “Inner Peace for Busy People”.
Let us pause for a moment to celebrate and give thanks for the life of Ambassador Charles Maynard whom I have known for over fifty years. Our paths crossed due to our mutual involvement in many an arena, as follows: at UWI, Mona, Jamaica I as an undergraduate, in 1960, and he as a postgraduate student; in the Caribbean private sector as he was heavily at the highest level, and I peripherally, engaged in the activities of the Caribbean Association of Industry and Commerce; as management consulting colleagues when he was a Principal of the firm Management Consultants Limited based in Dominica and I was at Systems Caribbean Limited in Barbados; then for 15 years when he was a Minister of Government in Dominica, when I had occasion to sit before him and seek his counsel, for part of this time he became Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization; our many discussions when he was Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Commonwealth of Dominica to the Caribbean Community and, most recently, when he was Dominica’s Ambassador to the OECS and special advisor to Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit. Over a five year period ending April 2011 we kept in touch through our respective roles in the many events associated with the Anthony N. Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence.
We travelled the Caribbean on management consultancy assignments. We travelled to many parts of the world together as we were both associated with the Commonwealth Partnership for Technology Management (CPTM) – www.cptm.org. I benefitted tremendously from his legal, public and private sector experiences as we engaged in many an interactive dialogue on issues of significance to Caribbean development.
His reflections on his career have been captured in his 2010 book: “A Life in Public Service” which chronicles the variegated life and career of H.E. Charles Maynard. It highlights his significant contribution to Dominica’s political, economic and social development for over five decades. He shall be missed by many, may he rest in peace!