I. Unveiling New Frontiers: Exploring The Migrant’s Tale

Exploring New Horizons: Insights from My Schooling Experience
Aged Wisdom: Thriving in Familiar Landscapes
Embarking on ‘The Migrant’: A Personal Expedition

My First New World!

Going to elementary school can be an agonizing experience, especially when it’s a boarding school located 650 miles away from your hometown!

When I started my third year of elementary school at a different school in another city, about 650 miles driving distance from my former school, it wasn’t the classroom itself that felt daunting, but rather the presence of so many upper grades ahead of me in that K-12 school. Surrounded by senior peers who seemed older and wiser, I was keenly aware of being the newcomer in a sea of familiarity. In retrospect, I felt an additional heavy burden, being told by my close family something to the effect of ‘you’re a big boy now, take care of your younger brother over there.’ This added to the sense of responsibility and pressure I felt. The ability to adapt became crucial as I navigated this unfamiliar environment, learning to blend in with those who had long called it home. Just as newcomers in any setting face challenges, so too did I experience the reality of the unspoken right to belonging that comes with time and experience in a place.

The picture, taken a few months before I left for boarding school, shows my family: I am on the lower left, and my second brother is on the lower right.

Adaptability and Blend-Ability: The Wisdom of the Aged!

There is an unspoken reality out there, that the one who gets anywhere first has the right of the way! It appears that the word ‘wisdom’ has the essence of time and being somewhere for longer as an integral part of it. If I’ve been the first in this journey, am I entitled to privileges like grandfathering? Does trailblazing inherently bring perks, like being ‘first in, last to worry’?

Is it reasonable to assume that anyone who plays the game of longevity fairly, and stands taller and stronger for longer, is blessed, as they undoubtedly must have acquired more wisdom?

Longevity’s Wisdom: Flourishing in Familiar Terrains!

Time seems to accelerate as the years go by, but looking back, my 9 years of schooling felt like a lifetime!

The privilege of wisdom appears to stem from living longer than many in any geographic location. When I became a senior at the Salesian Catholic School of St. John Bosco, known for its rigorous educational standards and its name, which translates to “Thought” particularly in the context of knowledge, it was as if I knew it all in that universe. Even though it was only 9 years since I began as a 3rd-year elementary student, for me and my classmates who began our journey almost together at our school, it was enough years to give us, the class of ’68ers, the unspoken seniority privilege. It was as if we had a sense that we had been there longer than anyone else, and we had achieved the highest level of wisdom that one can acquire in that terrain, and now it’s the right time for us to leave all that behind.

Seniority is Relative: As it turned out, my excitement for being on top of my high school world was short-lived. Why? Because in less than 3 months, as I entered college, I found myself at the bottom of another world as an incoming freshman! Isn’t it odd that one day, in one spatial location of this world, we find ourselves on top of the seniority chain, and the same day, in another place, we find ourselves at the bottom?

The picture shows a few of my classmates on the night of our graduation at our high school. I’m the third person from the left.

Seniority Must Be Earned

A baby born today anywhere on this planet will be nurtured by their parents and all those in their close circle. In fact, the adaptation of babies to the worlds they live in begins at the time of their conception. The genes passed on by their parents are the result of countless years of adaptations to their ancestral worlds. Additionally, the mother passes along the memories of all germs she has encountered and conquered throughout her life in her native land to her baby via certain immunoglobulins (IgG antibodies) that are adept at passing through the placenta, the so-called “afterbirth,” and enhance fetal immunity. As a result, babies are immune to most of the germ-related survival skills prevalent in their environments for up to about the first six months of life.

A baby born today anywhere on this planet will be nurtured by their parents and all those in their close circle.

The Game of ‘S/he is One of Us!’

During the months spent in the womb, our mothers pass on all survival skills that enable our immune system to discern between what belongs to us or is a part of us and what is considered not belonging to us, including our notable microbial foes.

As we grow, our circles expand, and we tend to identify with a much wider segment of people whom we consider part of our broader identity. These individuals belong to our tribes; they are our fellow country-persons.

Needless to add that the older we get, the wiser we become in our own worlds. Why? Because we have seen and experienced it all. But does this mean that we are also wise enough for survival in other worlds? Personally, I believe that those who have righteously excelled at their holistic longevity can seamlessly blend into any new world they step into.

As we grow, our circles expand, and we tend to identify with a much wider segment of people whom we consider part of our broader identity.

Dr. E: Up Close and Personal on ‘The Migrant’

As I look ahead at the volume of work for wrapping up ‘The Migrants,’ I must request a favor from you: ‘Would you please allow me to wrap this story in a few episodes?’ If you do, then you already know why I love so much to walk alongside you in the Passage for Excellence at our Longevities. If you don’t mind hearing my mind, I must confess that the more I delved into it, the more I realized there was to uncover!

Postscript: Not All Migrants are Created Equal!

Thank you for joining me on this journey, and I look forward to continuing our exploration of ‘The Migrants’ in our next episode, ‘Not All Migrants are Created Equal’. So, for now, this episode, and for this lovely and precious time that we have walked alongside each other, it may be a good time for me to say: ‘Hope to catch you healthily soon, as we delve deeper into the Migrants’ story!’

Dr. Eftekar (Dr. E) is the founder and head coach of the Center for Conquest of Longevity and Northwestern Medical Review. A unique attribute of Dr. E is his well-rounded academic background that, in addition to the science of medicine, extends over several other disciplines such as physiology of aging and longevity, philosophy of science and medicine, and integrated kinesiology.

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