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4/06/2008

The ever changing wisdom

Singaporeans are perhaps the most adaptable and flexible people in the world. They are easily taught to change, even their mindset. In the 50s and 60s, they would all be looking forward to retirement at 55, to look after grandchildren or drinking kopi in the kopitiams. Today, this kind of mindset has changed. The new wisdom is to work till you drop dead. This model is built on a new reality, on independence, self worth and pride, and being useful to society. And also not being a burden to family and society. Not that the high cost of living has made life unsustainable if they have not money. The old wisdom was built on family as the building blocks of a country, filial piety, looking after parents and letting him have a rest, after years of toiling to bring up the children. It is time to live on the fruits of labour, to harvest, and enjoy the children and grandchildren. And the children feel proud to be able to provide for their parents aplenty. Dr Anne Chong Su Yan wrote a letter to the Sunday Times and this is the first paragraph. 'Recently, I was at a toilet in a shopping centre when I noticed an elderly woman with a bent and crooked back trying to clean the floor while fashionable young women applied their lipsticks and checked their hairdos in the mirror.' Good for her. She finally found out that in paradise there are such old people working in the toilets. It is better late than never. It would be shocking if one day she realised that there are poor people in paradise. The gist of her letter expressed her shock that old people were working in toilets instead of sleeping under the coconut trees on a beach chair watching the sunset. But have no pity on these old folks. They are living the new wisdom. Pride, independence, and work till they drop dead. Some ass holes may brutally tell the truth, that they deserved to be in that state because they were irresponsible and squandered their youth away. Having old people working in toilets and living an independent lifestyle is a lifestyle of choice. It is the pride of our nation. We have succeeded.

6 comments:

Matilah_Singapura said...

> The gist of her letter expressed her shock that old people were working in toilets instead of sleeping under the coconut trees on a beach chair watching the sunset. <

For that to occur, one must first choose thinking and then take action to achieve financial security in one's dotage.

> Some ass holes may brutally tell the truth, that they deserved to be in that state because they were irresponsible and squandered their youth away. <

In the realm of success in life, all of us get what we deserve. The causal universe works PERFECTLY all the time.

People are not "wealthy" automatically. They have to take certain actions derived from their thinking.

Similarly people are not indigent automatically. They will have to think and act accordingly to achieve that state.

Anonymous said...

The Malaysians are laughing at us for feeling proud of our oldies working at the airport pushing trollies, at hawker centres cleaning tables and as toilet cleaners in posh shopping centres.

The Chinese students in Singapore are surprised to see oldies still working as cleaners etc when in China people of comparable age are already retired and living carefree lives.

We keep on repeating we are a first world country and yet in the eyes of third world citizens living here, we are far from being first world in many things.

Matilah_Singapura said...

The Malaysians have no basis to laugh at S'pore. Malaysia is a race-based political state.

The Chinese mainlanders are welcome to fuck off back to their "fantastic" cuntry. And, no, not all the old in China are rich and happy. I have seen this for myself, and so have alot of others.

S'pore is simply "uniquely" S'pore. And dare I say it, there are people doing well in S'pore, and most of them don't work for the govt.

redbean said...

with the high cost of inflation, whatever savings you have will never be enough.

i need to psychic myself that working till death is a good and right thing to do, and be happy doing it. maybe i should chop a place to wash toilets in terminal 4.

Anonymous said...

Selling redbean soup will make a lot of money. Just wait for GST increase or price of redbeans to go up and you can pass on the increase to customers with a substantial markup.

Matilah_Singapura said...

Inflation is a part of life which unfortunately won't be going away anytime soon.

You can "save yourself poor", if you diligently save and believe that you'll have enough money to retire on.

However, we live in an age where there are a growing number of people who are retiring at age 30 and below. In recent years, this phenomenon has been growing in Australia, and I suspect (I have no concrete data) Singapore.

All is not lost.