Out, out, brief candle...

Do you want to live forever? Readers Digest polled people in 17 countries on that ambiguous question in January-February and found that most respondents are not interested in an endless succession of years in which they are badgered incessantly about global warming, economic recession, swine flu and all the rest of the ills flesh is heir to.

Of course, it all depends on what you mean by immortality. Maybe the Filipinos over 45 -- who all clicked the Yes box -- were thinking of heaven. Maybe their Chinese counterparts -- all of whom clicked No -- were thinking of endless years of suffocating CP paternalism. But who can guess why 74 per cent of younger Brazilians want to live forever, unless it’s their sheer naivety. More than 50 per cent of younger people in seven countries (including the US) do not.

Apart from Brazilians and Filipinos, those keenest on living forever were Indians and Malaysians -- people in developing countries probably think it will take forever to reach their goal -- closely followed by Spaniards and the Dutch, whose reasons will remain forever mysterious.

Russians -- women particularly -- are the least interested in prolonging their sojourn here (only 36 per cent) followed by people in Singapore, Germany, the UK, Canada, Australia, Italy and France -- all under 50 per cent. Folks in the wealthy countries may secretly doubt whether they can sustain their privileged lifestyles. As for the Russians, statistics are against them: their average life expectancy is 10.8 years shorter than the figure for the European Union and, even so, women on average live 13 years longer than men. ~ Readers Digest




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