December 11, 2023


Outstanding health & fitness

Opinion: At 102, a San Diegan Proves the Value of Curiosity, Activity and Gratitude


Cunya Wu
Cunya Wu

Among the the added benefits of operating with older grownups at Serving Seniors is the chance to understand priceless everyday living classes. What I have noticed right after 26 many years: no matter how various their backgrounds are, there are common qualities to dwelling a prolonged, delighted and healthy existence.

Doctors and nutritionists give a good deal of very good information. But practically nothing matches the initially-hand wisdom of somebody who has lived a entire century.

Cunya Wu will celebrate his 102nd birthday on Thursday, June 23. He will stroll to the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Heart for breakfast and lunch, as he does each individual day.

Even when our eating area was shut through the pandemic, Cunya produced his each day walks to appear select up his meals to go. We are happy to see him back with his close friends yet again.

We not long ago requested Cunya to replicate on his existence and share his most effective assistance. From his cheerful disposition, it is tough to photo the hardships he faced as younger high college graduate in 1937 in Nanjing, China, as Earth War II overtook him.

He was forced to flee with his uncle just ahead of invading Japanese troops as they overran his city. Cunya secured a job as a fourth-quality instructor, rapidly discovering Mandarin. He followed a prolonged street to school, going absent from residence and discovering a 3rd language, English, when he was admitted to Hunan University to study electrical engineering.

Cunya claims “life and dying were just a stone’s throw away” beneath the menace of Japanese military services bombing. By 1943, American and Chinese forces ended up combating facet by side in the Pacific.

He joined the Chinese military and place his English competencies to get the job done as a translator for the U.S. Military. Cunya saw devastating fight in the Battle of Longling in northern Myanmar and western Yunan in late 1943.

“The struggle was extremely hard and cruel, and there is one thing I will under no circumstances forget about. A line of soldiers with whom I applied to engage in cards all the time, immediately after a solitary fight, none of them survived. Afterwards I uncovered that our military had practically 30,000 casualties and the Japanese experienced much more than 13,000 casualties,” remembers Cunya.

Cunya survived and returned to his college experiments, earning a master’s diploma in journalism. He labored for the English language China Radio Worldwide, broadcasting the 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. information.

“When the Japanese surrendered, the senior announcer was in Nanjing, and it was me who broadcast this thrilling and excellent news in English. ‘The Japanese have surrendered!’ That evening we chatted and laughed, celebrated the victory, and appeared forward to the upcoming,” said Cunya.

Eventually, Cunya turned a professor, working at several universities and serving to to create the new Xiamen College College of Know-how in 1985. He retired as its dean, then emigrated to the United States at age 65 to San Diego, where by his grownup young children ended up now dwelling, which includes his daughter Shelley.

When men and women ask him for information on living a very long daily life, Cunya says he tells them, “Be curious, be keen to stimulate your head, be ready to consider new matters, treasure time and each individual moment you have and make the most of it! Continue to be energetic equally mentally and physically!” Cunya’s keys consist of four pieces of guidance specifically applicable for today’s more mature grown ups.

Remaining Energetic, Being Engaged

Cunya arrives to our wellness center each individual working day. “I like looking at people, curious what many others are engaging in. I stroll listed here and have breakfast and lunch just about every day. I get experience together the way.”

Lifelong Finding out

“I am normally eager and inclined to find out new things, try new points. Becoming curious can make a person’s intellect youthful. I try out new things, meals, even now. I taught myself piano in my 90s. If it weren’t for my lousy vision (I am practically blind) and my bad hearing, I would try so much much more. This planet is these an interesting location.” 

Cultivating Gratitude

“I am grateful, written content and enjoy all that I have rather than what I do not have. That is what presents me happiness. I am grateful to be in San Diego and attribute my extensive existence to retiring here. The great, pleasurable weather conditions with the sunshine signifies that I can constantly be outside and get physical exercise, strolling every working day. I get in touch with San Diego ‘heaven on earth.’” 

Wanting Forward  

“I sense blessed that my youngsters are all healthy and joyful and having fun with good results in their lives. I would like I could stay very long adequate to see the accomplishment of my grandchildren and good grandchildren as perfectly and where by their life get them.”

Serving Seniors will throw a birthday social gathering for Cunya on Friday, June 24, at 2 p.m. as element of our “Senior Idol” celebration. Understanding Cunya, he’ll get pleasure from his cake with mates and sing alongside with the competitors.

Paul Downey is CEO of Serving Seniors, a San Diego-based mostly nonprofit that allows seniors in poverty stay healthy and satisfying stays.


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