Some people are examples by just being…
I’m sure by this point you may have heard of Walter Breuning. Until this past week, he was the second oldest person in the world at one hundred and fourteen years old. This means he was born in 1896. That’s right, 1896! His obituary in the paper highlighted some of his early life. Born in Minnesota, his family lived without running water or electricity. Lying about his age, he scored a job at the Northern Railway at age sixteen, where he met met his wife Agnes Twokey. He bought land for fifteen dollars, but never built his dream home due to the Depression (flipping the land for a ten dollar profit!). He retired at 67. Then got another job for the Shriners, working until the ripe age of 99.
His secret: two meals a day and no medications but asprin, that’s it.
You know what I love about this story? This man lived a simple life. He obviously had a positive outlook as he made his way through this amazing century of change. During year after year of progress, Walter chugged along as technology grew exponentially. It seems his agenda stayed the same- simple living and hard work. Walter didn’t have children, but maybe that’s okay. Imagine outliving everyone you knew growing up? Imagine being last? There is something extraordinary about that. He was the survivor.
In an interview last October Walter said, “We’re all going to die. Some people are scared of dying. Never be afraid to die, because you’re born to die.”
If you have a moment, please click this link to hear Walter’s thoughts on life in his own words: