Keeping active through the graying years

Every morning before 7 am, there is this group of elderly men sitting together in the hawker centre sipping coffee or tea and chatting away. Occasionally, one of them will browse the Chinese newspaper for the day and probably bring up some interesting news in the discussion. Most of these men have been economically active before and are now living out their retirement years. They appear contended.

Such group gathering is something to be encouraged. The discussion they had kept them in touch with the happenings in the world they lived in. They are less likely to suffer from dementia or depression. The support they have for each other can reduce the possibility of low self-worth and low self-esteem.

There is one man in the neighbourhood, possibly in his late 50s or early 60s, who is deaf and mute. He sat at my table in the hawker centre this morning. He was distributing newspaper to a drinks stall. He used a marker pen and wrote the name of the drinks stall on the newspaper to mark it. He wrote it with care and I can sense the pride when he was writing the few simple characters on the newspaper. He also helped to sell newspaper each day. He made himself useful and this kept him going day after day. The regulars in the hawker centre and the neighbourhood  know this man and accepted him as part of the community. Though deaf and mute, he does not show signs of despair or lack of self-worth.

Really, it is up to us to remain active and useful in our graying years and we should not cut ourselves off from the world we live in.

Written on 3/5/2007 5:11 PM

Copyright © 2007, the author known as LKT in Singapore.

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