Do you ever wonder why some people look almost ageless, even into their senior years, while other people look old at 30? It is fascinating to watch the way people grow into themselves and how it impacts the way they look, feel, and interact with the world around them.
Last week I had the pleasure of attending the YWCA annual benefit lunch, and the speaker was Gloria Steinem. I’ve been a fan of hers for years, and not only for her leadership in the cause of feminism.
She’s probably had a great life with wonderful friends, romance, and creative successes, but it seems she has devoted herself to the cause first and to herself second.
Imagine a life where you are a part of something bigger, something that you can tangibly see making the difference in the lives of people around you. She’s had that life.
But I’m not here to write about feminism or even really about Gloria Steinem. What I really want to touch on is the thing that almost struck me speechless the minute she walked on the stage.
Gloria Steinem is 76 years old. And she looks like a million bucks.
She’s healthy, vibrant, attractive, and energetic, and she is still working on books, speaking, and making the world a better place. This woman has a lot of living left, and it shows.
My grandmother recently died at 74, and she’s been old for at least 30 years. She was not interested in making new friends, going out of her way to help anyone outside of her family, or even to take care of herself physically or emotionally. She was taught to mind her own business and keep her nose out of everyone else’s.
I couldn’t help but see the contrast in the way life turned out for the two of them. Sure, Gloria Steinem is famous and has more money than my grandmother did, but she didn’t start out that way. Her early life was just as chaotic as my grandmother’s.
It is a small sample for a survey, and the results are more gut reaction than scientific analysis, but it certainly confirmed for me that a life lived in pursuit of your passion – a life out in the world, interacting with people and creating or joining in the conversation about your passion – is the one that keeps you young.
What do you think keeps a person young?