9/29/2010

Be kinder to the oldies and unwell

Was it official wisdom or economic expediency that we want our old and sick to work till they die on the job? There compelling economic reasons to do so, that the old and sick should not become a liability to anyone, to be financially independent and dignified. There are also compelling and compassionate reasons not to allow the old and sick to work when they are unhappy to do so or unable to do so. We have forgot the meaning of life. Living is not just an economic activity, to work to live and to live to work. There are many dimensions of life that are there to be explored and experienced. Work to death is never an enlightening option. What happens to the old adage of retiring and smelling the roses and watching time passes by, enjoying the moments with the grandchildren? We can afford it, with a little ingenuity and thinking, to provide for our old and sick without making their lives miserable. And for those who are financially able, there are many things more valuable than just working and collecting more money. And for those who have not much time left on earth, it is decent and proper that they spend their time in a more fruitful and valuable way, to be with their love ones and enjoy every moment they still have. There is a need to rethink this economic wisdom of working to pay for our time here. As civilised, organised and enlightened society, we must think more than just in economic terms.

3 comments:

Matilah_Singapura said...

Without economic activity, there can be no life. To live, one must work. That's how it has always been ever since man discovered that he needed to get out his cave and "do stuff" to ensure his continued existence.

Growing old and sick is also a fact of having life as a human. It is only in the recent past that the average man has been able to "put away something" for his old age. In previous times, if you were "the average man" and not born into wealth or royalty, you died as soon as your resources ran out or someone else stopped looking after you.

There is no universal "meaning of life". In fact there is no reason or purpose that anyone of us should be alive. The fact that we are means we get to construct our own reason and purpose for existence and hence create or discover our own "meaning" to life. But as far as a "universal" goes, there no such thing. We happen to be alive because of certain consequences of the universe -- from atoms, to molecules, so simple cells to multi cellulr and then to complex life.

Therefore an "enlightened" society made up of "enlightened" individuals will have to base its "enlightenment" on the facts of reality:

1. There is no "scientific" or "objective" reason or pupose to life.

2. You are going to get old, sick and die -- everyone is. No amount of "political intervention" is going to change that.

3. There will be people who think they can trump objective reality by forcing "compassion" onto society by taxation, wealth re-distribution or making certain groups of people into "victims" so that the govt can then have an excuse to "help them".

The fact is, life is uncertain. Some people will have a lot of money and good health, and live long happy lives, and most people won't.

Trying to intervene politically to change this is futile.

Anonymous said...

Even horses and buffaloes have been put to pasture on reaching old age after their useful working life.

At least the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is more humane than some humans ruling over other humans.

Do we honestly believe that human society is getting more civilised, organised and enlightened? Fat chance!

Think about it.

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