There was an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit today by a 103 year old woman (Evelyn) which I found interesting. For those of you who aren’t family with Reddit’s AMAs, it’s basically a chance for people to ask whoever is doing them any question they want. The answerer usually chooses and answers the questions that get lots of votes since there can sometimes be thousands. From well-known folks like Bill Gates to people interesting and/or strange, it’s a great conversation platform.
I went through this particular one and chose the ones I thought would be helpful for those who visit this site. Here’s the full AMA.
Note: Her grand kids read the questions to her, then typed her responses.
During your life, how have you seen the world change for the better and for the worse?
Both. But I sometimes think people today just aren’t satisfied. They have so many materials things but they are unhappy with their life.
What is the most important thing you have learned while living so long?
To live life to the fullest and regret nothing. You never know. One day you’re here, the next day you’re not.
What is your biggest regret?
I have no regrets. I made mistakes, but they made me who I am. Life is too short to fret over the past. Let go and let it be.
What is the one thing in your life (past or present) that you wouldn’t change good or bad?
I grew up with a lot of hardships but I would never change the way that it shaped my personality. It made me hard-working and appreciative of what I had.
What do you think the point of life is?
I’m still trying to figure this one out. There may not be a meaning of life but there is meaning in it. So live like each day is your last.
What may I do now, age 18, that can help promote lifelong happiness?
Love yourself the way you are. Get your priorities straight. Keep your family close. Save money for a rainy day. Laugh.
Any professional/academic advice for college students?
Study hard and don’t be afraid to take any job that helps you be self reliant. In my day we didn’t care whether we had to clean for a living or work a gas station. The important thing is to make money and save it. Good jobs have to be earned.
What is the most important life lesson you have learned over the years?
Save money for a rainy day!
I am worried that as I get older, inevitably I will lose the people in my life that I love the most and I won’t be able to cope with it…. what is the best advice you can think of.. to help us to deal with losing our partners/parents/best friends to old age etc?
The hardest part to life is losing people. I lost my husband at a young age and never remarried. I outlived all my children, my high school class, and the town where I grew up doesn’t exist anymore. It can be lonely. But I also made wonderful girlfriends, traveled the world and did things I never thought I would do. The important thing is to be present in the here and appreciate that each day is a gift and an adventure waiting to happen.
What keeps you motivated?
My motivation is just to stay alive and happy and vital. Each day is precious and I know that I have been lucky to have lived as long as I did.
How do you overcome feelings of inadequacy?
Just love yourself. There’s only one of you in the whole, wide world. You are special.
What is something people don’t do anymore, that they really should.
People should write each other letters. Some day you will be glad you have them under the bed, all of your memories in a neat little bundle.
What is the most major and wise words you could tell a young person now, based on your century + experience with life?
I think that the best thing you can do as a young person is to be self-reliant, work hard and save your money for a rainy day. I saw the banks crash and the Great Depression. You need to know how to take care of yourself in adversity. Kids today take too much from their parents I think.
What is your advice for future generations?
Work hard. Save for a rainy day. Eat your vegetables. Get your priorities straight. Have integrity and learn to be happy with what you have.
Since she was once a teacher, I figured this video would be appropriate to end this post.