Retirement? Hey, what does it mean?

Retirement is a very strange word. It connotes a time when u cease doing anything of monetary value and just wilt away. Or well, look after your grandchildren. That’s what us city folks think it is. So in Singapore, we have the official retirement age raised from 55 to 60 to 62 and perhaps soon, 65. And all around me are laments and rantings that “we can’t afford to retire coz we do not have enough savings to last till we are 80!” Oh! So what exactly is retirement?

I can’t quite grasp the word, and frankly, I wonder why it’s such a scary word to many people I know. It’s like the “c” word which spells cancer. And I wonder if it’s the effect of a kind of xenophobia that is strangling the country I live in? Sometimes I go to our shopping malls, and I see people walking around aimlessly….. Is it the bid to keep ourselves busy so we don’t have to think about our lives? Reminds me of HH The Dalai Lama’s “The Paradox of Life.”
So is it only me? Or is it that I have come to another phase of life? I am just thankful that I have come this far…. sometimes I wonder why I met The Dalai Lama? And why I feel so drawn to his philosophy?
Compassion. Love. This is what the world needs more of. Just like Mother Teresa said, we can only help one person at a time.
Which is why I don’t know the meaning of retirement. I think there’s so much to do. I know my vision of giving each child the right to dream and write somehow will lead me to the Tibetan Children’s Village. I just have to believe and follow my dream.

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