Friday, September 10, 2010

Living to work.....or working to live?

I was one of those cheering MM Lee's comments about working,....and working on old age. Yay..! I don't want to retire....I love my work too much. I don't mind winding down as my brain neurones apoptose as I get older, but I do not really want to stop work altogether.

But I realize not everyone is as blessed as I am to be in a professional role that I enjoy.

You see, I live to work. As I am sure MM Lee does. If you live to work, it is not really work. You don't really want to stop working because only death will do that.

But many others (and I am sure they out-number people like me) who are not as blessed. These actually have to work in order to live. They do not have much of a choice. If they do not work, they potentially cease to live... Everyday I walk past the cleaners and menial workers who populate the corridors of the hospital, and I wonder if they share the same enthusiasm to not retire. To reach 55, or 60, or 65.... and to not see an end to this life of labour. A blessed existence? Hardly.

Surely we can have a society where we can be a bit kinder, and more gracious to those who have spent their lives struggling against a world that seems overwhelmingly stacked against them. Surely we should be able to say " Enough, uncle (or auntie),...enough, it's time for you to take a rest.".

But sadly, I don't think we have it in us.


auntielucia said...

Giga, it's so for those rolling in it to say "Surely we should be able to say " Enough, uncle (or auntie),...enough, it's time for you to take a rest.".

But for those who need the money to live, it's a death knell to be told to rest! Tt's y u see pple selling tissue paper all over the place or pounding the streets madly as I've detailed in a recent post.

Instead of debating whether to have a retirement age, we shld be discussing how to ensure tt the 20-25% could have a monthly stipend when they reach an age where work isn't viable any more.

gigamole said...

Hi AuntieL,

I think you may have misunderstood my comment. I didn't mean that we can be patronizing about uncles and aunties having to work to live. Rather, as you pointed out, society should be able to think in terms of providing a stipend or safety net for the elderly so that they can actually say, 'enough....time to rest.', and not have to work their way to the grave.

It's not that our society cannot afford it.

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