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Betty White’s Life Illustrates the Importance of Finding Purpose

Courtesy of Images Alight (Flickr CC0)

Betty White’s life illustrates the importance of finding one’s purpose. America’s Sweetheart passed away just 17 days shy of her 100th birthday, but her joy for living remains through the connection she spent decades building with her fans.

She would likely have found it fun to celebrate her 100th birthday, Jan. 17, 2022, on the same day America honors Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King, Jr. White might have quipped, “Finally, my birthday is a national holiday!” The Golden Girl’s remark would not be too far-fetched as the Illinois State Senate designated today as Betty White Day, and her hometown, Oak Park, honored her this past Saturday.

Despite always being quick with a humorous retort, the comedienne’s heartfelt advice to others explains her perspective:

It’s your outlook on life that counts. If you take yourself lightly and don’t take yourself too seriously, pretty soon you can find humor in our everyday lives. And sometimes it can be a lifesaver.

Courtesy of John Mathew Smith (Flickr CC0)

White understood the importance of allowing bumps in the road when working on one’s life’s purpose, and she spoke honestly about her thoughts on the matter. A Twitter user’s comment thanks White for her candid words, “Betty didn’t just entertain us or inspire us…she spoke to us beautifully on how to live and have a life like she did.”

As a youngster, White knew she had an affinity for animals and seemed to enjoy being in the spotlight. Her life decisions, however small, gave her a purpose that defined her values. For example, her advocacy reportedly caused the comedienne to turn down the role of Helen Hunt’s mother in “As Good as It Gets” because she objected to the treatment of the dog in the movie.

Courtesy of Loren Javier (Flickr CC0)

Since she had confidence in who she was, White overcame the heartbreaks and tragedies in life by not taking herself too seriously. Nonetheless, a person does not typically find success without knowing their core values. A person does not spend two-thirds of their lives acting and being an activist without understanding what makes them tick. For White, it was making people laugh and ensuring she did her part in making animals’ lives better.

Several months before her death, White’s fans started chattering on social media about her then-upcoming centennial birthday and how she was going to spend her special day. Then, the film “Betty White: 100 Years Young — A Birthday Celebration,” set to hit the big screen on January 17, was announced. While it will still be shown, after her death, the movie was rebilled as “Betty White: A Celebration.”

She passed away in her sleep in her Brentwood, California, on New Year’s Eve, from a silent stroke she suffered six days earlier. Those close to her say she was coherent and showed no signs of a stroke.

Written by Cathy Milne


The Los Angeles Times: Betty White’s cause of death: Coroner blames stroke she suffered 6 days before dying; by Nardine Saad
KJCT ABC News 8: Betty White’s hometown celebrates her 100th birthday
Goldcast: Your ‘Why’ Matters: The 10 Benefits of Knowing Your Purpose in Life; by Scarlett Erin

Featured and Top Image by Alan Light Courtesy of Images Alight’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
First Inset Image Courtesy of John Mathew Smith’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Second Inset Image Courtesy of Loren Javier’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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