Mrs. Charlotte Walker Allen, who celebrated her 87th birthday on Sunday, September 16, said long life cannot be bought with money but good conduct and hard work as well as following good health practices.
Sharing some inspiring thoughts with several of her family members, including children, and grandchildren, Mrs. Allen said she is not just happy for being alive at 87 but that she has accomplished something for others to learn from.
“I am so happy that all of you care about me and usually send me loving greetings. Be good citizens and serve people with humility,” she admonished.
According to the former classroom teacher, love for country and unification of the people are key to Liberia’s advancement. Though blind since the 1990s due to glaucoma, Teacher Charlotte has a very active mind. She, too, is praying for a positive future for Liberia, and that God will lead the Liberian people to the right path as they struggle to see their country graduate from the ashes of poverty and disappointments, among others.
She taught in the Bong Mines Company school system from 1963 to 1988 and trained many students who went on to become doctors, engineers, technicians and civil servants. She said that her parents were too poor to afford her a sound education, therefore she had to depend on other people for her education. She appealed to all who are able to help other children besides their own to lead a productive and contributing life.
Like many Liberians, she lamented the many challenges and difficult circumstances that continue to hold the country back from its advancement towards development.
“It is my prayer that one day, a generation not in the distant future will see the Liberia we all have labored for and wished for all through the days and nights. Liberia will get on par with other nations in the world and songs of glory will be sung to God by all, irrespective of their religious backgrounds,” Allen said.
She attributed Liberia’s lack of development partly to the unemployment of so many of our youth.“Many young people have graduated from high school and even colleges but cannot find jobs,” Allen said.
She noted that the right (food) diet, mainly those not frozen and others that do not contain much oil, can greatly help keep one healthy.
“Fruits, vegetables and dried food items can really help. Don’t eat food just because you want to satisfy your hunger. Eat simple and important food,” she advised.
Mrs. Allen emphasized, however, that food and good clothes or sleeping in a beautiful house are not the ultimate means for anyone to be guaranteed a long life. Rather, living a virtuous life and in line with God’s requirements as outlined in the Bible can lead to a longer life.
“Please, these are not fixed formulas but I know and you know that it is good to be good. It is wrong to be selfish and terrible and to misuse what does not belong to you,” she said with a sigh of relief as her birthday song was raised by one of her extended grandchildren.
About her religious life, Mrs. Allen said the Baha’i Faith has brought her light and joy and she is grateful. “I have loved people and share with them all through my life, but becoming a Baha’i has given me a bigger task of not loving people for the sake of God but working for the unity of the entire human race under the same umbrella,” she said. She defined what she referred to as “umbrella” as God’s one and central love for all of His creatures, particularly humankind.