Walter Breuning is a Minnesota born United States citizen.
According to the news article I heard on the radio this morning he wakes up at 6am every day, loosens up with some calisthenics, dons a suit and tie and with the help of his walker strolls down the street for breakfast.
His greatest regret was not volunteering to fight in World War I. He was too old to fight in World War II.
Let that sink in.
This man was born in 1896. Here are a few other things that happened that year:
- Utah is admitted as the 45th U.S. state
- X-ray photography is invented
- Oscar Wilde is a popular author and playwright
- The Ford Quadricycle — the first Ford vehicle — is invented
- Queen Victoria surpasses her father King George III as the longest reigning monarch in British history
- William McKinley is elected the 25th President of the United States
114 years seems like a long time to you and me. It might seem like a long time to Mr. Breuning as well. But in just the lifetime of a single man nearly everything we assume as universal constants came to be; ubiquitous automotive transportation, instantaneous communication, the things that separate ‘developed’ nations from the third world; the most common facets of civilized life did not exist on Walter’s birthday.
Now imagine that the oldest man on earth when Walter was born was also 114 years old. He would have been born in 1782, during the Revolutionary War, before the birth of the United States.
Conceivably, the entire history of our nation occurred across the lifespans of only two men.
I think the things which consume most of our waking hours are a single receding wave lapped upon an endless beach. I think you and I could use a good dose of perspective. Otherwise, I think you and I might live and die without ever understanding what really endures.
Today is born the man who will turn 114 in the year 2124. Have you dedicated yourself to anything worth teaching him?