Second-Half of Life

Dr. Al Danenberg Nutritional Periodontist
July 9, 2018 [printfriendly]




Second-Half of Life


In July 2017, I wrote about Robert Browning’s poem, Rabbi Ben Ezra. This amazing yet esoteric poem describes the second-half of life. The first stanza of this 32-stanza poem reads:


Grow old along with me!

The best is yet to be,

The last of life, for which the first was made:

Our times are in His hand

Who saith “A whole I planned,

Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!”


My “Second-Half of Life”

I’m 71 years old. Certainly, I am in the latter half of my earthly journey.


After I reached my years of maturity, some amazing personal changes occurred. They included more awareness of what life really means and less dependence on the material things in this world. I have learned many things and changed in many ways. But, the following two lessons have impacted me the most:


  1. Healthy Lifestyle: A nutrient-dense diet and an active lifestyle can improve one’s health. I had a stroke at the age of 59 but did not learn about ancestral nutrition and lifestyle until the age of 66. At 66, I totally adopted this healthy lifestyle. Now, after more than five years of implementing this way of living, I feel healthier today than I have ever felt. I weaned off all prescription medications and lost 33 pounds. My take-home message to everyone is that no matter how old or how sick a person is, this lifestyle change will make a positive difference.
  2. Belief in Love: Love is powerful and fulfilling. In my opinion, the deepest emotions we experience in life are “to love” and “to be loved”. These emotions go deep within one’s being. Learn, accept, and practice a broad definition of love, which also should include respect and caring for all people. Embracing this intangible will change your life.


However, in today’s world, these two “learnings” seem to be upside-down and out-of-whack.



Upside-Down & Out-Of-Whack Health

Our kids are developing high blood pressure and obesity. They are watching too many TV shows and playing too many games on digital devices. These kids should be reading books, playing outside, and feeling the sun on their skin.


Over 50% of adults are taking at least one drug for a diagnosed chronic disease. Most medical doctors are more concerned with writing prescriptions to resolve symptoms rather than digging much deeper to discover the environmental and lifestyle causes. Most dentists are involved in repairing the damage from tooth decay and gum disease rather than emphasizing nutritional and lifestyle counselling to uncover the triggers. Where are the evidence-based and stimulating programs to help patients self-motivate to change their lives?



Upside-Down & Out-Of-Whack Love

Love has turned into hatred.


Hatred appears to be infesting our country. From the top levels of leadership on down, there are divisive statements pitting one group of people against another. There are warnings that the media and certain nationalities are enemies of the people. Kids are bullying other kids. Children are being shot to death in schools. Insensitivity is widespread toward people suffering in their homelands. And, our two established government parties don’t want to speak to one another.



Making a Difference

I am such a small drop of water in the ocean of life. How can I make a difference? What can I do to educate about healthy living and healthy loving? I am limited, but I will do what I can do!


If I can help motivate just one person to understand and experience what I have learned in my second-half of life, I will have made a difference. The more I do, then the numbers of people positively affected will increase. If each of these people can affect one person at a time, then maybe this could lead to exponential growth.



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  1. Beautifully said. This second half of life is when I finally feel like I’m “growing up”. Priorities are changing in a good way. No longer feeling the need or desire to accumulate anything. Allowing all my experiences in my first half of life to inform this time giving each day purpose.

  2. Beautiful post, I am sole caregiver for my 90 year old Mom, have an independent geriatric practice as a nurse practitioner and am taking Chris Kresser health coach year long program and trying to stay sane. I started my primal lifestyle at 63 and will be 65 next month and have never felt better. I read the first stanza of the poem and will find the rest to read to her. I love reading your posts and you are making an impact

    • Thank you!

  3. Thank-you Dr. Danenberg for the work you are doing to make a difference. From what I’ve read on your blog posts, it truly is work in the sense of time and labor. And emotionally it’s work when trying to introduce health-promoting ideas to people in conversation, without stepping on toes.

  4. The mouth, that’s where it all begins. I just listened to the discussion you had with dr. Saunders on oral summit. Amazing. I hope this interview will be posted on you tube, I certainly, with give it thumbs up.
    Thank you. Got the downloads too and the book. I will talk to as many as I can, if they will just listen.
    I have been myself on or returned to somewhat a traditional nutrition: ketogenic, LCHF and paleo the last two years and my health is and has improved a lot.
    Thank you

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