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The Oldest Man In The World Dies

By Don Loftis | 04.20.11

A few weeks ago Walter Bruening passed away in Great Falls, Montana. He was 114 years old and officially recognized as the “oldest man in the world.” His memories stretched back to 1900 and included stories his grandfather had shared about his experiences in the Civil War. Walter’s wife had died over 50 years before, and he had lived in the same retirement home for 31 years. It is hard to imagine the changes that this one man had experienced in his lifetime.

Through the years, he had developed a very simple philosophy of life that he summarized in five short statements. 1) Embrace change, even if it slaps you in the face. 2) Eat two meals a day — it’s all you need. 3) Work as long as you can. 4) Help others as much as you can. 5) Don’t fear death, because all of us will die someday.

If someone were to ask you about your philosophy of life, how would you respond? What values and activities do you believe are the most important on which to build your life? If you have lived past “four score” years, what insights into living a fulfilled life would you want to pass along?

By the way, longevity is nice, but it is not the most important thing. Living to the age of 969, Methusaleh was the oldest recorded human ever. However, he died in the year of the flood and apparently was a part of the wicked generation from which Noah was rescued in the ark. Life is not about length but quality; not about accomplishments here but about readiness for the life to come.


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