10 Life Lessons I Learned from a Centenarian

My grandfather lived to be 117 years old, an age most people only dream of reaching. He was a spirited centenarian who was loved by everyone who knew him. He taught me many life lessons, not just about longevity. He was my lifelong friend, a confidante, and a wellspring of wisdom.

In this blog post, I’ll share 10 great life lessons I learned from Mr. Kavoi. These insights aren’t just about longevity; they’re about living a fulfilling life. Here are 10 pieces of advice from a centenarian whose wisdom knew no bounds.

Seek Peace and Live a Happy Life

Many people make happiness their ultimate life goal, which is where they miss the mark. My grandfather showed me that if I focus on being happy, the goal will always feel out of reach. Instead, his ultimate goal was to live a life of peace. 

Instead of striving for happiness, he pursued peace. He was our family’s peacemaker and was always resolving conflicts. I now aim for peace in my life. Happiness is the result of living a peaceful life. Peace provides stability in a world of chaos. Now, I actively work on living a peaceful life.

Put Family First

My grandfather made it clear that family came before everything and spent a lot of time instilling good values in his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Whenever my family visited him on his expansive farm, he would always set aside time to spend time with the kids and not just the adults. He always showed us that his family was the most important thing, and we have, in turn, learned to put our families first.

Find a Purpose

Our beloved centenarian lived with a sense of purpose and loved farm life. He loved working with his hands and built many small innovations that helped him around the farm. We all admired how he put in the effort and saw the result. We all wanted to be like him—build stuff with our hands and run a successful farm. Mr. Kavoi was surrounded by woods and wildlife and enjoyed a tranquil environment until his final days.

Treat Everyone You Meet Well

Mr. Kavoi knew the importance of treating all people with dignity and respect. He had 10 children and had no favorites. Everyone loved being in his company because he always made you feel like you mattered. This made us kids develop confidence from a very young age. We always knew our voice mattered. I now treat people well because it gives them confidence and makes them believe that the world is a wonderful place. 

Eat Natural Foods

I rarely saw my grandfather sick, and if he ever was, he recovered very quickly. A farmer by trade, he grew and ate healthy food–fruit, vegetables, whole grain, and other natural foods. I loved visiting his farm because I didn’t even have to go to the kitchen to find something to eat, I would go to the farm and eat fruits and raw food like cassava and sweet potatoes. This taught me from a young age the value of organic food, and that I truly am what I eat. 

Don’t Be Greedy or Selfish

Our beloved centenarian taught us that greed never pays. He showed us that life’s purpose is more than just acquiring material possessions. He wasn’t selfish or greedy and never lost sight of his values and life purpose—-to be a blessing to others. He lived a happy and fulfilled life and was always surrounded by family and friends. While some people did take advantage of his generosity, it didn’t get them very far. Most of us learned from him that our purpose here is to be kind, unselfish, and always ready to lend a helping hand.

Make Walking (Exercise) a Way of Life

My grandfather lived long before gyms and exercise became popular, but he knew that physical activity was integral to daily life. If he wasn’t on the farm, you’d find him walking long distances to visit his family and friends. He would only use public transport when the distance to be covered was very long. He outlived his wife by almost 10 years and never wore glasses a day in his life. I learned from him to push my body to the limit and to make exercise a habit.

Be Spiritual

Mr. Kavoi was a spiritual person who participated in religious practices and incorporated those values into daily life. He associated faith with success and happiness and was deeply involved with his local church. This helped him to build strong social networks that helped him in his life. People would stop by his house unexpectedly to check on him and spend time with him. 

Be Social

Our beloved centenarian loved people just as much as they loved him and surrounded himself with people like him. His events would always be filled with people from all walks of life, and his home was filled with laughter. He also understood that community involvement was important to his quality of life and was a pillar of the community. 

Rest is Healthy

After a long day of work, my grandfather would always rest on his favorite chair and sip some tea. By taking the time to rest, he always had energy for the next day. He had the energy to work on the farm, walk long distances to sell his produce, socialize with friends, and play with his grandkids. He would always come up with the most amazing innovations and ideas for bettering his life. And when he put his ideas to work, they would produce amazing results. One idea I’ll never forget is how he introduced grafting to produce the sweetest fruits. I would eat so many fruits till I had no space for food.

Serve Your Country

My grandfather fought in the First World War and had many stories to tell about the courage and bravery of the soldiers. We would sit around him and listen with eyes filled with wonder as he told us how he had survived when others hadn’t. He loved his country and understood that it was his patriotic duty to serve his country—and we all admired him for that. 

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