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Advice from 119-Year Old Woman: "Be Yourself"

Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.

Kane Tanaka dies at 119

Kane Tanaka dies at 119

When people live to be very old, they are often asked about the secret of their longevity. Their answers often include what they eat, what they drink, or something about their lifestyle that keep them living longer than other members of their family, their friends, and the average person.

Kane Tanaka was born on January 2, 1903 and recently died on April 19, 2022 at the age of 119 years and 107 days. She was the oldest living person in Japan and the second oldest person ever to live that long. The oldest person to live was a French woman named Jeanne Calment who lived 122 years and 164 days.

Kane Tanaka Celebrating 117 Birthday

Kane Tanaka Celebrating 117 Birthday

Tanaka's Longevity

How did Tanaka live so long when her family member and friends who were younger died before she did. This supercentenarian lived far into her 12th decade. She survived both world wars, the 1918 influenza outbreak, paratyphoid, and two types of cancer.

Three years ago when she was 116, she was asked about the secret of her long life. She said she appreciated whatever she ate, she loved drinking Coca-Cola, and she had a good sense of humor. When asked what had been her happiest moment during her long life, she said, "Now!"

She added that she lived so long because she lived "Being herself."

Jeanne Clament died at age 122

Jeanne Clament died at age 122

Calment's Longevity

Like Kane Tanaka, Jeanne Louise Calment outlived her family members and friends. The French supercentenarian was born on February 21, 1875, and died on August 4, 1997, at the age of 122 years and 164 days. She is the only person documented to have lived that long.

Like other people who have lived to be supercentenarians, Calment had habits that she contributed to her longevity. All her life she took care of her skin with olive oil and powder. She smoked cigarettes until she was 117. She cycled until she was 100th after she fractured her leg.

When she was asked about her longevity, she shared her daily routine which included waking up at 6:45 a.m. and starting her day with a long prayer at her window. She thanked God for being alive and for the beautiful day.

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Her breakfast consisted of coffee with milk and a biscuit. Her lunch included braised beef. She ate a dessert with every meal. She said she loved to eat fried and spicy foods. She ate a lot of fruit salads with bananas and oranges. She loved chocolate so much that sometimes she would eat up to 2.2 pounds per week. After each meal, she smoked a Dunhill cigarette and drank a small amount of port wine.

In the afternoon, she would take a nap for two hours in her armchair. Before retiring for the night, she listened to music. Before her eyesight failed, she enjoyed completing crossword puzzles. Her usual bedtime is 10 p.m.

Calment never stopped going to Mass on Sundays and to Vespers on Fridays. She said she was curious about the afterlife.

Tanaka's Comment About "Being Herself"

Kane Tanaka's comment about "Being herself" is worth embracing. We should use her lifestyle as an example of how we should live. Everyone should be themselves instead of trying to be someone else.

It is not a guarantee that being yourself will cause you to live as long as Tanaka, but you should be yourself at any age. It is easier to be who God made you to be than to try to be someone else. You couldn't be someone else anyway. Therefore, your efforts will be futile, and you will fail at it every time.

What does it mean to be yourself?

You can be yourself only when you let go of all the labels and unfair judgments people have put on you. Being your true self is who you are when no one is looking. Being yourself is taking off your mask and living the way God created you to live.

You should be able to live your life with your own words, attitude, and lifestyle instead of imitating someone else.

If you want to enjoy freedom, then don't pretend to be someone or something that you are not. When you are trying to be someone else, you suppress your own true nature.

Stop thinking someone else's life is better than yours. Give yourself a chance to be happy in the skin that you are in because it is crowded in someone else's skin along with that person.

Be your own authentic self that is the real you. God made you exactly the way you should be. He put everything inside of you for you to be free and happy. When you are your true self, you are letting God know you don't think He made a mistake when He created you the way you are.

Use Kane Tanaka's example and be yourself!

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