Wisdom Through the Ages

Recently, the world’s oldest man, Walter Breuning passed away. He was 114 years old. Prior to his passing, he shared some of his wisdom and insights on how to not only live a long life but to live a quality life. There were three things in particular that caught my attention.

Number one, he said, embrace change even if change slaps you on the face, to embrace it, that it’s good. I believe that well, all change may not be good, that all good comes from change.  So we need to look for ways to improve, look for ways to grow, look for new ways of doing things whether it’s new technology, new systems or a new attitude, change is what’s going to get us from today to the success of tomorrow.

He also said that we need to work long, meaning that we need to work as long as we can work and that we need to save our money because it could come in handy in his words. Well, certainly the money will come in handy but I think it’s more important that we look at what work is all about.  It’s more than just work. I think it’s about having meaning and purpose in our life. When we work at something, when we’re trying to achieve something, we have meaning and purpose, it keeps us alive, it keeps us young, it keeps us going. That work may be for money but that work may also be as a contribution, it may be serving others; it may be helping our community.

Being involved in a vocation, being involved in work will keep us young, will give us the energy we need. Every day of our life, it gives us meaning and purpose.

And the third thing that Walter shared was that, we need to look to give to our friends. The more that we can give to them, the better our life will be. And that’s such a true statement because if we look to give, we enhance and help other people’s lives and as we do that, we grow in the process. And you know what, even if we don’t do it for this reason, one day, there’s people out there that will look to help to give to us when we need that help.

So we need to look to embrace change. We need that meaning and purpose through our work and we need to look to give and to help to others. It will give us a hopefully longer life but certainly a more productive and more rewarding one.


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