“Joie de Vivre” a noun that means exuberant enjoyment of life, describes the joy meeting and listening to keynote Dr. Ruth Westheimer speak at an annual Women of Distinction event, honoring 28 exceptional women who work tirelessly volunteering in many local organizations in our community.
Over the years since she has made a name for herself as a famous sex therapist, she has inspired me to be fearless in my confronting delicate issues with my patients. I have also admired her for her prolonged and varied career while demonstrating that age is not a barrier to achievement.
Dr. Ruth was an articulate and spontaneous and funny speaker, evident she understood that using humor is an excellent tool to connect with her audience to drive home her points. Although she is diminutive, she was truly a powerhouse of knowledge about a varied range of subjects. Her own story of survival following the holocaust was captivating and inspiring.
Notably, Dr. Ruth emulates one of the five traits that I discovered lead adults to happy, healthy and longer lives; ATTITUDE.
In her most recent book, “The Doctor is in….” she spells out the strategies that lead to Joie de Vivre. Dr. Ruth has lived her life by always moving forward, not forgetting the past and not allowing the past to dictate how she lives her life.
She has embraced her passions and those of us who have heard her discuss her professional life realized she loves what she does.
A very adventurous side of Ruth from her role as sniper in the Israeli Haganah to becoming a pioneer in discussing sex in a public forum.
Clearly, Dr. Ruth has taken risks in her life and has proven it is never too late to do anything one puts their mind to.
During the few minutes I had to chat with her she told me that in a few months she will be embarking on a new show. Wow, at 88 years old there is no stopping this woman.
When I expressed to her that I practice geriatric medicine and encounter sexual issues among my patients, she quickly put on her marketing/self-promotional hat and reminded me that she wrote a book about Sex After 50…. I am not certain if she was directing that at me the geriatrician or the 50+ year old man. lol
Of the lessons learned is you don’t give up on life after adversity and age is not an obstacle in a successful career and garnering respect. Being authentic will win over your audience leading to greater success.
To Leading a Passionate Life full of Joie de Vivre!
David Bernstein, MD