“A friend will come running if you call them at 2am; everyone else is an acquaintance.”
A couple of week’s ago, I was summoned to give a ‘reflection’ at our monthly team meeting for work.
After unsuccessfully googling ‘reflection ideas’, I remembered a story I’d read about how old people give the best advice (can’t argue with that … especially if it was my Nana giving it!).
According to the story, the crew at Reddit asked their members in the the over-60 crowd what words of wisdom they have to pass down.
Spurred on by the idea that perhaps we could all learn something from those who have lived more of life than we have, I googled to find advice from people who had celebrated their centenary … because who can top the advice of a 100-year-old.
Which is when I found Ruth Kobin.
Ruth does Pilates, has a mean sense of style and at the time the below photo, she was 100 years old.
In 2011, the Huffington Post interviewed then 100-year-old Ruth (in between Pilates and zumba classes) and she shared 100 pieces of advice.
Here are my favourites:
“I dress up every day and I don’t wear blue jeans. I dress up even to mail a letter, you never know who you will meet.”
“Invest in quality pieces, they never go out of style.”
“Don’t look at the calendar, just keep celebrating everyday.”
“Have a pet. Life gets lonely sometimes. Pets are reminders of how we’re all living things.”
“Don’t be a cheapskate.”
“Life is fun. It’s all up to the person. Be satisfied. You don’t have to be ‘happy’ all the time, you need to be satisfied.”
“Try not to eat anything that’s healthy. It’s true. I eat whatever I want. The secret to longevity is ice cream.”
As I mentioned, Reddit asked their over-60s members to share their advice for the younger generation. The response was enormous and full of brilliant pearls of wisdom including:
“Knees are important. Cherish them.” —electronicat—
“Your life is not as serious as you think it is.” — mama146 —
“Pay your bills and stay the hell out of debt. If I could have paid myself all the money I’ve paid out in interest over the years, I’d be retired already.” —eey0r3—
“Always keep moving, even if just walking.” —BlushRedTai—
“When you meet someone for the first time, realise that you know nothing about them. You see race, gender, age, clothes. Forget it. You know nothing. Those biased assumptions that pop into your head because of the way your brain likes categories, are limiting your life, and others’ lives.” —rareas—
“Plan on a career, but don’t let it overcome the rest of your life. Take care of yourself, but don’t make it an obsession. Focus on your kids, but leave room in your life for yourself. Save enough money so that you’ll have enough for the future and for emergencies, but spend enough now to avoid looking back with regret.” —tfsd—
“Books. Read them. All the clichés apply (sunblock, flossing, travel). But don’t stop reading books, lots and lots and lots of books. Crappy ones, disturbing ones, difficult ones, fun ones. You can only live your one tiny life, but with books, you can live thousands more.” —cipherdexes—
“Don’t marry young. Live your life. Go places. Do things. If you have the means or not. Pack a bag and go wherever you can afford to go. While you have no dependants, don’t buy stuff. Any stuff. See the world. Look through travel magazines and pick a spot. GO!” —duckdelicious—
“Collect experiences. I don’t have many regrets, but I do wish I would have travelled more when I was younger.” —ScreamWithMe—
“Stuff is just stuff. Hoard time instead.” —davelog—
“Treat people better than they deserve, especially those who don’t deserve it.” —chortle-guffaw—
“A friend will come running if you call them at 2am; everyone else is an acquaintance.” —wizard10000—
But the final word goes back to Ruth:
“You have to be lucky, but I made the best of things when bad things happened. I also ate prunes every single day.”