By Jesse Anson Dawn 


Tips on Keeping Mind and Body Young 

Jesse Anson Dawn, age 55, author of the national award-winning book, Never “Old”, speaks out about a most stirring subject: how and why we age.

 Presently answering the question: 
“How does depression cause us to age?” 

Dear Reader, 
Ah, the woes of the world, so many woes that the World Health Organization names depression as an “unofficial” leading cause of death. Especially now that mealtimes have dwindled down to a dialog such as:  

“I can’t remember if I took my Prozac today. Do I look  depressed?” Indeed, here amid the “Sound Bite” System with its new credo of: “Just Say Nothing.” All of which has me wondering who has more freedom?: A single person in communist Russia unable to leave the country, or a TV-wed Westerner unable to think, read or leave the house?

When we are supposed to be enjoying  ourselves, it is called “recreation” time, true? Or sometimes we refer to “recreation” as “free time,” but whether “free time” is truly re-creative and free depends on many factors.  

The following examples are a few easily accessible ways to make recreation time more re-creative, while also helping overcome inner/outer depressions. And as for when to do these things, well, if you’re like most people and are a habitual TV watcher (but haven’t yet reached a point of TotalVege addiction whereby you  only stop watching the tube during a power failure) — then be sure to regularly offset some of that still manageable habit with some creative activity such as: 

Rarely do we reach deeper into our reservoir of self-expression than when we write letters to friends. Or when we write to public officials, you know, those brain-storming, “stop that pollution!” — or “don’t put a nuclear power plant on that earthquake fault zone!” — or “why in blazes plan a new housing project on an active volcano?!” letters.  So often undervalued is the importance of good, consciousness-raising letters and their power to bring fresh, new life to long-slumbering corridors of thought. 

 Admittedly, books may not seem as personable as a television set, maybe because TVs make talking sounds like people do. And although I watch the telly myself, I try to keep my TubeViewing very selective and to a minimum, especially avoiding the “action” shows that are especially nerve-wracking. And of course, along with all the bloody action we’re inundated with a myriad of “sexy” shows. Sex/violence, sex/violence, both TV and now books seem to have warped it down to this twin-pronged formula — (although the only “sexy” book I’ve ever found worth reading is Henry Miller’s brilliantly funny Tropic of Cancer). But instead of Miller, stores now push the “shock for shock’s sake” kind of book which tries to compete with the TV and movie push to be as simple-minded as possible. To wit: I recently watched an “award”-winning movie on cable TV called Leaving Las Vegas, and the whole thing consisted of two concepts: getting drunk and screwing. Talk about a simple-minded and boring story. 

And this is what people give up books for? Admittedly, I have the same feeling about over-sexed books and films as the excellent author Erica Jong, who wrote: “My reaction to porno is as follows: after the first ten minutes, I want to screw. But after the first twenty minutes, I never want to screw again as long as I live.” Well yes, I know what Erica means, for she like a lot of us may be getting a bit fed-up with being inundated by sex-push — a two-sided coin which, for one thing, encourages the bearing of so many children that natural resources are being gobbled up at an alarming rate. But don’t get me wrong now, I still like and need sex, and surely I’ve had my share of it, amid which I’ve found many joys (and also frigid oysters) — and yet never the pearls of wisdom I’ve found in books. And yes, I too believe in having an open mind about sex, etc., but not so open that my brains fall out. 

And surely my view of “love” is another thing changed by the ray of experience — especially after the welcome pain release of two divorces. Thus my concept of “love” now leans more toward such things as nature, music, books, health and friendship — all blessings which I can place into various orders of importance — all blessings which are geared to loving life and “time” instead of loving suffering. And speaking of “time,” bookpeople — people who read to learn — seem to be a breed of person more attuned a patient sense  of “time.”  But to sum up my feelings and respect for good books and their importance, I believe Kafka got it right when he said: “A book ought to be an ice-pick to break up the frozen sea within us.” And indeed a good one should. 

 Although TV inundation is phasing out the urge to be in touch with ourselves, an uplifting way to reinstate personal truths is to write them out. Also, remember it’s nearly impossible to lie to oneself  when writing a personal journal, which is certainly a good reason to keep one. And while being honest with yourself via writing, you’re also recording that honesty for posterity — unblocking the (often stifled) truth within us all. Another purpose of a journal is to release old grudges, for there’s no better emotional “face-lift” than the mental floss of grudge release.  Also note that positive results can occur from creating an “ought to do before I die” list, i.e., one’s “oughtobio-graphy”... And on that note let me wish you all an ought-to-be Happy New Year! 

For the whole self-renewal story, Jesse Dawn’s 258-page book, Never “Old” can be received free of charge by purchasing his new book, “The Rejuvenator’s Bible: Working Ways to Create Perpetual Youth Naturally” (237 pages) for the retail price of $15. To receive both books for the price of one, call World Changing Books at (800) 736-3922 and order with a VISA or MC., or send a check payable to World Changing Books: POB 5491, Hilo, HI 96720. ($15 includes books plus free, 1st class postage) You can also order by e-mailing

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