What’s the best advice you reckon you could give if you lived to 100?
You’d probably know the top tricks for not putting up with other people’s drama, for one thing. You’d also probably learned how not to give a damn and how to live for you, not for somebody else.
But one 100-year-old woman’s advice is much more empowering – and it’s about love.
Love is an incredibly complex emotion, as you’ll know if you’ve ever fallen in love (which is often likened to the feeling you experience from taking cocaine).
Apparently, it takes up to 4 minutes to decide whether you like someone or not – and after that, it’s much harder to convince yourself otherwise.
But according to 100-year-old Lillie Elliot, we shouldn’t be discriminatory in who we love.
Speaking to Fox Carolina, the advice she gave was plain and simple:
“That’s the only way we’ll see Jesus, love everybody, enemies and whoever. Let’s love everybody. That’s what I try to do. I try to love everybody. If they don’t like me I still love them right on.”
Imagine if we all lived our lives with the same rules as Lillie. There would be no crime, no disputes, and no hatred, because we’d all respect and care for one another, even if we didn’t always see eye to eye.
The COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged us to extend our love outwards, whether in the form of buying groceries for an elderly neighbor or letting a healthcare worker pass to the front of a queue.
But there’s so much more that we could be doing – take it from someone with 100 years of life experience.
How many times have you crossed the street to avoid a homeless person? Argued with your partner about a political news item? Rolled your eyes at stories of ongoing tumult in a developing country?
It takes effort and active thinking to show love to everyone around you, even if you pride yourself on being a loving mom, child, sibling, and so on.
A mother of 11, there’s no denying that Lillie Elliot has had plenty of experience in learning to love.
She was born in 1920, back when the NFL played its first season, Woodrow Wilson was President, and women were allowed to vote for the first time in the presidential election.
Just like all of us, Lillie would have made hundreds of mistakes as she grew from girl to woman. She never could have learned the wisdom of boundless, unbiased love without growing from those mistakes.
Certainly, nobody is saying that it’s easy to let go of grudges and love everyone.
There are people out there who really do seem like they’ve been put on this earth purely to anger or upset you.
But loving them, as Lillie says, even if they don’t like you, is an incredibly empowering feeling.
Rather than wasting your time getting frustrated or distressed, let it go. Replace your turbulent emotions with the simple notion of love, and pay attention to the calm and peace this feeling brings.
We wish Lillie a very happy 100th birthday.
How can you give more love to those around you going forward? Don’t wait until you’re Lille’s age to realize the importance of loving everyone – get started right now!
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