Often times when talking to people I hear them lament, lament about why this or why that particular thing happened to them, why something in the world happened.  They seek an answer to the cause, the cause of their particular circumstance, or some event, at any particular point in life.  They look for answers, for reasons for all events, for all circumstances.  I suppose in some ways they think that with answers, an understanding of why any one thing occurred, they can either avoid or, in the case of a good thing, replicate the occurrence.  Perhaps it is human nature, an inherent obsession to know anything, to know everything.  One my consider this lust the basis for most of human existence, for all of science.  But the real question is whether answers exist, whether every question can find a reason, some rational explanation for all in the world.

While many seek different answers, some may look toward religion and others find them in science, some simply ask, never really finding the answer or really wanting to know the answers.  In the recent Sandy Hook massacre many offer solutions, none necessarily with a defined question, but all professing a step to prevent a similar tragedy.  The calls for gun control, better support for the mentally ill, armed guards at the nation’s schools.  In the end, none really offer the whole solution, none may even contribute to a solution.   The questions will continue, the answers sought but perhaps never identified.

While not offering to parallel the tragedy, cancer is something to which many ask many questions, many seek the cause, the relationship between a behavior and an outcome.  In some cases the relationship is clear, medicine considers mesothelioma a direct result of asbestos exposure, lung cancer strongly correlated to things like smoking or second-hand smoke and breast cancer often associated with a genetic origin combined with environmental factors.  When learning of my prostate cancer, most eventually ask the question, they ask why I think I have it, why I have such an aggressive form, why do I think it attacked me.

In approaching the question I often point to the presumed correlations, predisposition in light of a male relative afflicted with the disease being the primary, a high fat diet, which more recently thought related a secondary point.  However, when looking at my personal history, my genetics and the manner in which I was raised, neither of these apply.  My 80 plus year old father has a PSA of under 1.0, considered very low for a man of that age.  My male siblings, are similarly unaffected, also the case with my male cousins.  When considering diet, here again, based on the epidemiological and large-scale life style study in which I participate, I fail to conform to the necessary criteria to set forth a dietary correlation.  In the end, by all accounts, there is no real known answer to the ‘why’ of my disease, a difficult concept for those in my life to grasp.

In light of my situation, many believe it realistic to harbor some degree of bitterness, or, conversely, to dedicate my life to seeking the answer to the ‘why’ of my disease.  I think there is a more important consideration, something we must first ask ourselves when faced with anything, good or bad.  To me, the first thing bearing consideration is whether there is a question at all, whether life is what it is, that all events are simply a confluence of a multitude of illogical and unrelated happenings.  Perhaps life is simply an inertia, the force of the world spinning and in the process releasing energy upon all placed on its surface.  Perhaps it is simply from within the domain of providence, the workings of that the religious believe from God.  Perhaps all things are simply just what they are, perhaps they are just as they seem and there are no answers because there are no relevant questions.

Happy reading, happy thoughts and happy trails.

As always, feel free to comment or you may email me at lifeabstractions@gmail.com

ciao

Lifesabstractions

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