Dear Mr Hodgkinson,
I recently read your article 'Live lazy, live long - look at Britain's oldest man' that was published in 'The Guardian' on 5th November 2012. After reading your article, I felt it was important to write to you explaining why I disagree with the message within your article.
My first criticism is that initially you stated, “It seems to make sense that slow lives, as well as being enjoyable, are long lives.” I would like to point out that there is no proof that a slow life or long life is enjoyable; after all fun and laughter are good for us, and a long life does not necessarily lead to pleasure. It is quality not quantity that counts! I would also like to add that the perception of what 'laziness' is, can vary depending on different people's opinions. There is a difference between relaxation and laziness; relaxation can be good for your health. An individual's culture can affect how much relaxation they have. For example in Spain many people have a siesta, which they find relaxing and may contribute to longer life; but they don’t sleep due to laziness. Yet you say "laziness works" based on statistics that you got from a study of Greek adults in 2007. Those who took a siesta lived longer. Therefore, it seems that sleep is therapeutic. However, this statistic does not tell us what people did for the rest of the day, possibly those who lived longer had a more active or less stressful life for the rest of the day. Perhaps those who stayed awake all day were simply bored to death!
Furthermore, in the second paragraph, you used very negative emotive language when discussing the Olympics. You announced that, “we had to suffer the spectacle of the Olympian ideal this summer.” This seems rather patronizing. Not everyone would agree that they had to 'suffer' this event! In my opinion the Olympics didn’t bring guilt but national pride; it united the country at a time of economic...
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