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.