Skip to main content

Life lessons from a 90-year-old activist

October 14, 2014

Hedy Epstein was accompanied by several others when she was handcuffed during a recent protest, reported Senior Planet. What set her apart from the others was her age. At 90 years old, Epstein is an experienced activist who has been involved in her fair share of peaceful protests. Her confidence, persistence and bravery are all admirable traits that you can adopt as well. Let her story inspire you to be a stronger person.

It's never too late to make a differenceAt 90 years old, Epstein continues her attempt to change the world, noted Senior Planet. She speaks about human rights issues around the world and attends protests to spread her message to all who will listen.

"I mean, I can't change the world, I can't change everything, but I feel that I have a responsibility to do what I can to make a difference," she told the news source.

While Epstein chooses to inspire changes by testing her boundaries, you don't have to be such an extreme activist to make a difference. Volunteering at a local shelter or for another cause that's important to you can be a peaceful, rewarding experience for you to help others while also helping yourself. According to a recent study performed by the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences, volunteer activities are an especially important part of a healthy lifestyle for seniors. Just two or three hours of volunteer work each week can help reduce levels of depression and improve health and longevity. It can also make participants feel appreciated, which is sometimes enough to improve quality of life and boost their mood.

"Taken together, these results suggest that volunteering is associated with health improvements and increased physical activity - changes that one would expect to offer protection against a variety of health conditions," said lead investigator Nicole Anderson.

Stay positiveAs if you needed another reason to smile, a good attitude has extreme benefits on your health. The Harvard School of Public Health noted that those who are happier live longer, healthier lives. Epstein embraces this fact and shared some insight into how she remains positive even when she's faced with hardship.

"There are people who complain because the sun is shining, and when the sun is not shining they complain because it isn't shining," Epstein told Senior Planet. "I'm happy when the sun shines, but I can accept the fact that it can't shine all the time - although I wish it would."

Remaining optimistic not only makes you feel better, but it also helps you enjoy life. Try not to let negativity into your life, and you'll likely notice improvements to your health and well-being.

Stand up for what you believeIt can be easy to fall into a state of passiveness, but it's important to speak up every now and then when you feel strongly about something. Epstein has engaged in peaceful protests for as long as she can remember, reported Senior Planet. Since her teenage years, she's been fighting for rights - not just for herself, but also for others. This got her into some trouble a few times, and she was even arrested several times when police were sent to break up the crowd. One of those times, she was 90 years old.

Standing up for your beliefs doesn't always have to end in legal trouble. Simply explaining your opinions to someone who doesn't agree with you is enough to convey your emotions and get the person on the other end of the conversation to see your point of view. Whatever it is that you believe, be proud and confident in your ideas.