I once had the chance to ask a 100-year-old man about his secret to a long life. At the time, I was a curious 20-something eager to learn his wisdom. I can still vividly recall the moment when I posed the question. His face lit up with a broad smile, and he let out a hearty chuckle. For a brief instant, he seemed lost in thought, glancing at the ceiling and then at the floor. Finally, he turned his gaze back to me, and I knew the moment of revelation was at hand. I felt a surge of anticipation and excitement as I waited to hear his words of wisdom.
My mind raced, conjuring up various possibilities. Would he advise me to eat less, take leisurely walks, or suggest other health-related practices? I was ready to absorb the profound insights from this elderly sage. My smile grew wider, my ears were fully attentive, and my mind was poised to receive this precious gift from someone so aged and wise.
Then, with a twinkle in his eye, he looked directly at me and simply stated, “Wake Up, Get Up and Do Your Thing!” In that instant, my jaw dropped, my eyes widened, and the smile on my face faded. I must admit, I was taken aback!
I thought, “Is that all?” No lengthy advice on a healthy lifestyle or longevity secrets? But then, he burst into laughter, and his laughter was infectious. I couldn’t help but join in, and I was in awe of the simplicity and profundity of his words that day.
As he handed me back my newborn son (he was my Great-Grandpa, the grandfather of Susi), his smile remained warm. He nodded approvingly, and then he rose and continued with his day. I sat there, watching him as he walked away, his tall and aging frame moving at a slow and deliberate pace. I couldn’t help but wonder about the adventures he had experienced in his lifetime, the people he had met, and the places he had visited.
Those words etched themselves into my mind that day, a priceless gift of wisdom. I am deeply grateful that I had the opportunity to ask him and receive his answer.
“Wake Up, Get Up and Do Your Thing!” — Rollo Best