When my husband Mike talked to me enthusiastically about opening our own hearing care practice 5 years ago, I shared his passion. I grew up watching how my grandfather struggled with his hearing loss and difficulties he faced in find the right hearing devices.
What I did not foresee is how much joy and learning this business has also brought to both of us. The most joyful moments, of course, are the moments when we see smiles and confidence back on our patients faces, as they can now hear well once again.
Today, I would like to share with you the story of the most inspiring Hughie Smith, who just turned 100 years old earlier this year.
At 100, Hughie is physically fit, mentally sharp. He has a great sense of humour, quick witted, he enjoys stimulating conversations. I couldn’t help but inquiring about his secret of being who he is today.
Some of his answers were most astonishing. Hughie confesses that he does not do any exercise, apart from walking to his car. He does, however, eat and sleep well. He sleeps 8-9 hours a day, eats plenty of fruit and vegetables.
Hughie was born in a big happy family with 7 siblings. He started helping his father’s car dealing business from the age of 9. He is still working full time with his grandson on their caravan business today at 100, along with volunteering for the Save the Children charity. What a hard-working good man he is. I have always wanted work well into my senior years, I have now found my role model!
One thing, which is immediately noticeable about Hughie, is his smile. He always seems to be in a good mood, smiling happily. When asked about how he manages the inevitable stresses of life, he replied ‘I have always been keeping on top of my stress level through forward planning, had I been stressed I would have been gone a long time ago.’ I have since been inspired to improve my time keeping and take a more relaxed approach towards unexpected events in life. The benefit is noticeable, I am much calmer and happier now.
The final advice from Hughie is the importance of meaningful relationships. Hughie believes that his family and his travelling community are some of the key contributors to his good health. This is particularly relevant in our social media age, when many young people spend far too much time with virtual friends rather than with their real-life friends and family members. Both Mike and I have since made more effort to see our friends and family more often.
I was fortunate to be brought up in a culture, in which the elderly are respected for their wisdom and life experience they have to offer. Having left home at the age of 18, I have relied on support from people older than me, and I continue to learn from them. I whole heartly believe that, we as a society would be much better off if we respected and loved those who are older than us, as they have much more to offer than we give them credit for.