ZEN+ : Helping you Stay Young and Age Well

Grandpa Gotho has died aged 146 (allegedly)

By Marcus Santer

worlds oldest man?

The Saturday Quote:

“My age is long because
I am cared for by people who love me”
Mbah (Grandpa) Gotho

Last year I stumbled across a video on the BBC Indonesia website called:

Kisah Mbah Gotho, pria yang diduga manusia tertua di dunia

Which thanks to Google translate means:

The story of Mbah Gotho (Grandpa Ghoto), the man who allegedly was the oldest man in the world

On that page is a video.

With Indonesian subtitles.

Here’s the original text:

Mbah Gotho dianggap sebagai orang tertua di dunia.
Dia hidup lebih lama dari keempat istrinya 10 saudara kandung dan juga anaknya.
“Saya selalu berusaha untuk sabar dan tabah percaya bahwa selalu ada seseorang yang akan merawat saya. Umur saya panjang karena saya dirawat oleh orang yang menyayangi saya”
Namun, Mbah Gotho adalah sosok pahlawan setempat
Saat ini saya bekerja sekuatnya saja bahkan berjalan saya pun sudah bermasalah
Dulu saya sebagai petani, dan juga suka menangkap ikan di sungai
Saya sudah tidak mau hidup lagi, buktinya saya sudah mempersiapkan batu nisan, jadi semua sudah siap jika saya mati.
Saat ini saya hanya ingin mati, tapi memang belum saatnya.

Fortunately for you I ran it through Google translate and here’s a rough translation:

Mbah Gotho is considered the oldest person in the world.

He lives longer than his four wives 10 siblings and all his children.

Mbah Gotho: “I always try to be patient and steadfast, I believe that there is always someone who will take care of me. My age is long because I am cared for by people who love me ”

However, Mbah Gotho is a local hero figure.

Mbah Gotho: “Right now I’m working as hard as I can even walk. I used to be a farmer, and also love to catch fish in the river. I do not want to live anymore, the proof I have prepared the tombstones, so all is ready if I die. Right now I just want to die, but it’s not the time yet.”

Now what I find interesting is the last bit: “I don’t want to live any more, I just want to die”

It reminds me of something I heard in a lecture by Dr Walter Bortz talking about Super Centenarians – folk who’ve made it past 110 years. And he sums up by saying you don’t want to be 115.

Which makes me think of the old Zen story about prosperity:

A rich man asked a Zen master to write something down that could encourage the prosperity of his family for years to come. He wanted something that the family could cherish for generations.

On a large piece of paper, the master wrote: “Father dies, son dies, grandson dies.”

The rich man became angry when he saw the master’s work. “I asked you to write something down that could bring happiness and prosperity to my family. Why do you give me something depressing like this?”

“If your son should die before you,” the master answered, “this would bring unbearable grief to your family. If your grandson should die before your son, this also would bring great sorrow. If your family, generation after generation, disappears in the order I have described, it will be the natural course of life. This is true happiness and prosperity.”

I can’t imagine what it’s like to outlive your whole family and friends.


‘Grandpa Ghoto’ finally got his wish.

On 30th April 2017 he died.

If his birth is ever verified he will have been 146 years old.

My research into ageing, Super Centenarians and Grandpa Ghoto has convinced me that the target we should be aiming for is 100 good years.

It’s certainly mine.

And here’s the 7 health packed habits I’ll be following to stack the odds of 100 strong years in my favour.

Bye for now


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