Sixty Six Years

How long will you live?

The CIA has a study from last year (2009) about the average lifespan of the inhabitants of every country. The study also gives an average for the world. Evidently a human being of our era can expect to live about 66 years, give or take.

Here are some stats I found interesting:

  • Longest lifespan average: the country of Macau with 84 years.
  • All around Asia there are countries where the lifespan average is 80+ years.
  • The same goes for Europe; many are at the 80+ years range for lifespan.
  • Contrast that with vast amounts of African countries not even reaching 50 years as the average lifespan expectancy.
  • United States citizens average is 78 years.
  • Russia and Bolivia tie with the rest of the world average of 66 years.
  • Where I got my intel: CIA rank list of average lifespan

In general there is not the emphasis on surviving the “mid-life crisis” here in Bolivia like there is the States. I have frequently wondered why that is. I also found it odd that when you put the title “youth group” on an event or gathering then you can expect that people from the age of 15 up to about 31 will show up. Now that I see these stats it makes a bit more sense. A Bolivian is either young or old. There is no in between ground because 33 years is half of 66 years. I am 33 years old now (gulp).

The stark distinction can be seen not only in the age groupings but in many other aspects of life in Bolivia. The social classes are divided by how much money you make: rich or poor. You are either from the country or the city; no suburbian blissdom here. Even the states of the country, called departments, separate themselves as cambas (amazonian, tropical regions) or collas (highland, mountainous regions). Just recently the political spilt has become even more evident with the socialist in half of the country opposed to the autonomists living in the other half.

No matter where you live or what you do none of us have been promised tomorrow.  The design of life conceals our age as a mystery. I am grateful to not know the days numbered to me. I am even more grateful for the gift of faith that allows me to believe that this experience of time is not that only one I will enjoy.

  • Even if the world average of 66 years was turned into 66 months and I had 5 1/2 years to live I do not think I would change how I lead my life.
  • Even if the 66 years turned into 66 weeks and I had a year and a quarter left I don’t think that my rhythm would vary.
  • Even if the 66 years was traded for 66 days giving me a bit more than 2 months to live I do not think there are any changes I could invoke that would help me to be more satisfied.
  • 66 hours is almost 3 days, and 66 minutes is just over an hour. If I trust that the gift of faith given to me is sufficient then I will just continue to put one foot in front of the other. My race is marked. If I stay on the path I believe has been set for me then I can enjoy the experience.

The truth is we don’t know. We just do not know. I wonder if you feel the same way as I do about the way you spend your days. Would you change anything if you knew? Would you remain on the same path?

Ref.: Ephesians 5 and 2 Peter 3.


3 thoughts on “Sixty Six Years

  1. were you bored to go looking for the average lifespans? Here in Kenya I am sure it is around 50 in the cities but in Turkana I would say it is lower. I have seen some old Turkana, but I can’t tell if it is years or hard life that makes them old. It is probably hard life. They don’t know birth years.

    I am content with my life and would remain on the same path. Thanks for the thoughts!

    1. Actually, I am quite a nerd when it comes to lists, charts graphs and the like. I find it fascinating to study comparisons. I went looking for the info in prep for a salvation message I delivered last week.

  2. I really enjoyed this post.

    I think it’s so good that you feel so sure and content in your life. I’d imagine you will have few regrets knowing that you lived deliberately, and in the path that you feel God has for you.

    To answer your question at the end, yeah I’d remain on the same path, but thinking about this has reminded me again of things I can improve and ways I can do this more fully :)

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