Dorscie Paterson. (Langley Advance Times files)

Dorscie Paterson. (Langley Advance Times files)

Our View: Words of wisdom from a 108-year-old

Don’t wait, just start!

Experience counts, so it’s probably a good idea to listen to Dorscie Paterson.

The Langley woman is one of the longest-serving members of the Langley Hospice Society, and advocated for years to get a new stand-alone facility built to take care of those in their final days.

She saw that take place in 2005. Then she turned around and continued to advocate for the society, even as they began looking for a bigger facility.

Paterson, who just turned 108, also saw that facility break ground last year.

Living a long life, Paterson said, is about keeping busy and doing good.

“Keep your mind going,” she told the Langley Advance Times. “Study. Think. And if you see something that needs help, or you can do something about it, like I did about the hospice, do it! Don’t stand around. Do it right now. Don’t sit on your backside and hold your hands.”

Things aren’t that easy for any of us in these days of the pandemic, including Paterson, who has been bored in her enforced isolation.

It’s true, a lot of our opportunities to get out and start doing something right now are being somewhat stymied by required social distancing.

But there are still options available, whether it’s for formal volunteering, or just to reach out to our fellow community members. Whether by Zoom or Skype, or a handwritten letter or card, helping our friends and loved ones know they’re not alone in this current mess is important.

Few of us are likely to live quite as long as Dorscie Paterson, but that’s all the more reason not to put off the things we really want to do. Start reading that book, learning a new craft, starting a hobby, going for a run. Write a cheque to a charity, call or text a friend, get outdoors and take a walk.

And do it now.

Don’t sit on your backside and hold your hands.

– M.C.