At 102, her advice goes worldwide
By Bobby Bryant, Editor
On June 1, a Darlington woman, Annie Mae Belin, celebrated her 102nd birthday at a Florence church. A local TV station covered the party and asked Belin her secret to long life. She mentioned several things, God among them, and added: “Trying to tend to my business. And leave other people’s business alone.” For the past month, that quote has been making its way across the country, first by being aired on other ABC-TV affiliates and posted on their websites, then by being picked up by other U.S. websites, finally by being shared on sites in other countries. Which is why, if you Google Belin’s name now, you’ll find this headline on a Madrid, Spain, website: “ANNIE MAE BELIN, DE 102 ANOS, DICE QUE OCUPARSE DE SU PROPIO NEGOCIO ES LA CLAVE PARA VIVIR UNA VIDA LARGA.” She is from “Darlington, Carolina del Sur,” the site notes. Translated by our computer, that headline means: “102-YEAR-OLD ANNIE MAE BELIN SAYS RUNNING HER OWN BUSINESS IS THE KEY TO LIVING A LONG LIFE.” Not exactly right, but you get the idea: Belin’s advice has gone around the world via the Internet. It’s in Chinese on one site; we can’t reproduce the words because our computer can’t write in Chinese. It’s in Croatian on another website. An Indonesian website notes that Belin is from “Carolina Selatan” in “Amerika.” Their headline says, “WANITA USIA 102 TAHUN BAGIKAN REHASIA UMUR PANJANGNYA, MAU TAHU?” Here are some typical Belin headlines from websites in America: “S.C. WOMAN, 102, SAYS KEY TO LONG LIFE IS STAYING OUT OF ‘OTHER PEOPLE’S BUSINESS.’ ” “A 102-YEAR-OLD WOMAN SAYS THE SECRET TO LONGEVITY IS MINDING YOUR OWN BUSINESS.” “SOUTH CAROLINA WOMAN CELEBRATES 102nd BIRTHDAY, CREDITS HER LONG LIFE TO HAVING FAITH AND MINDING HER BUSINESS AND KEEPING THE FAITH.” Belin could not immediately be reached for comment on this story late last week.