Barbara Ehrenreich has a new book, Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer. I haven’t read it. I think I would like it. While scanning through it on Amazon I saw this.
On page 207 Ehrenreich writes:
I pretty much eat what I want and indulge my vices, from butter to wine. Life is too short to forgo these pleasures, and would be far too long without them.
I hear this a lot. The pleasure rationale. Is life too short to forgo the pleasure of cigarettes with coffee? Of driving a motorcycle or car without a helmet or seat belt? Unprotected sex? A rave without pot and pills? Sugar Pops and whole milk for breakfast? Or maybe an Egg McMuffin? Bacon? Life’s too short!
Maybe this has an age component to it. Ehrenreich is 76. Should we be encouraging young people to indulge their vices?
I agree with her that life is too short not to experience pleasure. But as long as we are able to chose our pleasures, why not chose those that heal instead of those that harm?