Hollow Shells

by William Van Beek, Class of 2018

Editor’s Note: We put out a number of questions to a variety of CVC High School students. One of those questions was: Would you like to live to be 100? Why or why not? Below is William’s response.

In today’s day and age people are living longer than ever. In certain places like Japan, the life expectancy is well over eighty years old and, as advancements in the fields of health and nutrition are made, there is no doubt that life expectancy will rise across the world. However, as people live longer and longer, many important philosophical questions must be asked. These philosophical questions can really be broken down into one single question: “Would people in society actually want to continue living to an advanced age?” To state that question more specifically one might simply ask “Do you want live to 100?” If I was asked this question, I do not think that I would want to live for such a long time for several key reasons.

There are many reasons why someone might not want to live to 100, but perhaps the most important one to me is the loss of strength that comes physically, mentally, and, as I’m learning through research, emotionally. In an article written by the British news organization Independent, a 100 year old man by the name Walter James wrote that his old age had the strongest effect on his emotions. While he remembers doing many of the fun activities of his youth and he remains in decent physical shape for someone of his age, the emotions that he received from them have seemingly disappeared. Most specifically, James states that he cannot seem to recall the emotions that he experienced when he in love with a women in his youth. James writes that “Perhaps the greatest loss is what it is like to be in love. I can remember the routines of being in love, the shared meals, concerts and theatres, walks in the country. But writing all this is like taking a book down from the shelf and leafing through its pages. What escapes me is that extraordinary sense, which so many share, of being in love.” (Independent)

Living requires a reason. It requires a drive that comes from deep within a person. This drive usually comes from purpose.

As emotions like love fade, I do not think that I could possibly find the will in myself to keep on living. But this is not the only reason that many people would not want to live to 100. Living requires a reason. It requires a drive that comes from deep within a person. This drive usually comes from purpose. Teenagers and kids often find their purpose in school, sports, and their social lives. Adults often find their purpose in work and family. However, as people age, many times their sense of purpose seems to disappear. They no longer work. Their kids have all moved out and have families of their own, assuming that they had kids. As sad as it may be, elders often find themselves alone as they age, lacking purpose or drive. Without purpose or drive, the will to continue living quickly fades and many drift into emptiness, becoming hollow shells.

There are many reasons why some might want to live a long life and many reasons why someone may not, but for me, there are only two: emotions and purpose. A life without emotion and purpose is, in my opinion, not life at all, and I would not wish a long life void of these two necessities on my worst enemy.


Our student blog series seeks to give you a tiny glimpse into the life and times of our high school students at CVC. To find out more about how Central Valley Christian School and our students are rooted in God’s word, click here or email us at admissions@cvc.org.

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