While celebrating her 102nd birthday earlier this month, a South Carolina woman named Annie Mae Belin was asked to share her secret to living such a long, happy life. Instead of listing any health regimens, she credited one surprisingly simple habit.
“Tending to my own business and leaving other people’s business alone,” Belin told local reporters. “Unless I have to get in it, because I love to talk and I love people.”
There you have it, folks: Minding our own business is the key to a long life! OK, so maybe genetics and other healthy lifestyle habits played a role in Belin’s longevity, but we can’t help but love this no-nonsense response.
Belin emphasized her faith in God as another major factor. “He is my all, my everything,” she said. “I just want to keep on loving God and treating people like I want to be treated. Because we need more love in the world for one thing.”
She added later that it was her mom who taught her to steer clear of gossip. “My mother always told us it takes six months to tend to your business and six months to leave other people’s business alone. Then the year is gone,” she explained. “Why am I gonna sit in your house all day and talk when I can sit in my own house and be reading my Bible. Because that’s what I do.”
We certainly can’t argue with her logic there! We also can’t help but be impressed with Belin saying she reads the entire Bible, front to back, each year. “I don’t brag about it, but it’s true,” she said. “I start in Genesis for the new year and when I get to December, I’m finished. I go through the Bible in one year.” Considering just 15 minutes of reading each day has been shown to keep our brains strong as we age, it’s no wonder she’s still so sharp!
Belin summed it all up saying, “God is still blessing me. He still answers my prayer.”
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.