Submitted by Marina Hodson
I recently attended a celebration of life and had the opportunity to reflect on what it means to be a part of a community.
As I stood in the hallway of the standing room only ceremony, I was struck with how little it takes to become a part of something bigger than ourselves and what impact that has on our feeling of connection. The person being commemorated was not a politician, she was not rich and she did not hold a well-known position; yet almost 300 people congregated to remember her in a small community church. So what does this have to do with active living? Don’t ever underestimate the impact your life and the little things you do will have not only on others but also on your wellbeing!
I am not going to pull up the scientific evidence (ok, I might later…), but leading a fulfilling and rewarding life not only makes every day rewarding, but it also provides us with the purpose to carry on into an age well beyond our anticipated years. I don’t think it is coincidental that Mother Teresa lived to be 87 despite a difficult life or that the Guinness Book of Record’s oldest volunteer was still active at 99 years of age. Feeling useful makes us want to contribute and to be happy to do so.
I know I wasn’t going to quote science, but…. it may be as simple as that according to Duke Medical School research, “Every increase of one point on the happiness score lowered the chance of dying due to any cause among participants by an additional nine percent.” Perhaps being kind and being part of our community just makes us happy which makes us live longer.
So as I reflect on that celebration of life and how happy she made herself by helping others, I can’t help but think that maybe we will all live longer if we make us all happier.
Your friends at the Kawartha North FHT