This global economic and financial crises foil those who want to retire.

Perhaps the recession is positive phenomenon though harsh and tough this might be.

There was the anxiety that there might not be enough hands to feed the mouths of the elderly baby boomers should this generation retire from the workforce.

Idling with nothing to do makes a person dull…activities enhance the vitality and well-being of a person.

So will the baby boomers come up with innovative ways to keep oneself useful and hopefully to bring in an income yet helping the flailing economy back to its feet?!

#126 who am I

Life is full of changes, adaptations and adjustments — living through the stages of life: infant-childhood-teen-adulthood-old age…

At every phase of adult life we were confronted with life issues to cause one to discover and rediscover self — time waits for no man…

The first time I asked ‘who am I’ was during the teen years. I questioned meaning of life and purpose in living; today, at retiring age, I’m still asking the same question…only that I have more inputs and experiences, good and bad. I have yet to reach full understanding of who I am though. Glad I found Jesus whose life and ministry gave that ‘oomph’ to growing up and trusting God’s grace is sufficient even when I fell short of His glory.

During those teen years, the time we know yet not know…life was ideal, untainted yet. Followed life’s path after college entered the ‘real but harsh’ working world. Student life was carefree…be with and chose one’s friends; the world was at our feet then…but I didn’t enjoy that as I constantly wondered about making the world a better place without considering the changes within me.

In adult life, I sought for challenges and satisfaction in achieving, naively I didn’t seek financial rewards. I was initiated into real world and life — discovered I cannot choose those at workplaces…having to work alongside some ‘geniuses’ but eccentric in manners… There was no such ‘ideal’ boss — all bosses made use of staff to advance their career paths; life was never fair; every company or organisation had their rules and regulations and they had rights over you! (sigh…so much for the crap of human rights!!!).

Working life was a microcosm of the universe I live in — sometimes a human jungle; other times a paradise!

Young adult life found one in search of soulmate to share one’s life (through social pressure or life’s path for humans?)…for some, one never found that special person; some lost that soulmate through untimely death like illnesses or accidents; some lost through unhappiness and divorce.

If married, one live through the multiple roles one assume — spouse or parent (children); circle of extended family widened to in-laws;  social circles according to one’s lifestyle adopted; where one lived; belief one held; profession or vocation or positions at workplaces…

Parents are fraught with children growing up and education and their marriage; eventually one meets the empty-nest syndrome.

The full circle comes at the golden years or rather, the ‘forgottens’ in life…some single by default and some resulting from loss of spouse…then one fades away…in a whimper.

Cest la vie!


#125 a chinese by descent

Interesting that BBC’s James Reynolds sought readers to name 10 top-list about China or people of China.

He prefaced that he wrote for his own people…I wonder about the average English interests in the things of the East or China if not for those negatives that happened in UK and Europe like the recent Olympic Torch protests.

Many young Britishers like their forefathers travelled to Asia to find ‘gold’ as there are greater opportunities today.

Understanding China is still a huge and challenging puzzle…even for a Chinese in the diaspora — our views are so diverse.

I belong to the migrant class of Chinese parents living in Southeast Asia. My father wanted a better life, away from the corrupt and politically unstable nation he was born during the 2nd World War.

I was brought up at a time when Singapore was the new nation. Our focus was on nation-building and a people belonging to Singapore.

My immigrant parents always considered themselves Chinese and hoped to return to China one day until the Cultural Revolution in the mid-sixties…it was then they made Singapore their adopted home. Resulting, they never talked about China or educating us on the things of Chinese.

Naturally I grew up knowing only Singapore and always regard self as Singaporean rather than Chinese. It was when I worked and lived in Hongkong in early 80s that I experienced identity crisis. The HKs saw me a Chinese as yellow-skinned but when I claimed I’m a Singaporean, they could not understand — in fact I experienced some form of hostility and frown upon. However one interesting phenomenon was at official counters, when I started to speak English, I was served hand-and-foot, otherwise these HK officers would bully or deride one who cannot speak Cantonese! You see HK was a colonial island, like Singapore before Singapore became a nation.

Then, I realise I’m a Singaporean of Chinese descent. But this does not make me Chinese as I didn’t know the culture or able to identify with things of Chinese, coming from the diverse cultures in Southeast Asia, though culturally rootless I am. 

Strangely when studying in Sydney (Australia), I was not aware of my difference as I spoke and think English and my caucasian Aussie friends never made me feel different either. During the school breaks I was invited to join life in Aussie families.

You see I’m one of the new Singaporeans where our national leaders’ vision was to unite the different races to become one — one for all and all for one. I grew up not aware of the color differences during my primary school days in an English-stream school.

In those days, there were the Chinese-stream schools. If one studied in such schools, there was only one race, Chinese. The minorities like Malays and Indians do have their schools but there were few.

Parents proudly put their children in the English-stream schools. Some time in the 70s, Chinese schools entered the mainstream as those educated in Chinese-stream found difficulty in getting satisfactory jobs. So the policy changed accordingly.


To be alive


to see,

to feel,

 to hear,

  to think,

   to move…

     this I shall 

      in the winter of life.