Friday, January 21, 2005

All the talk about being old recently has really rubbed off on me. One day we will all grow old. One day we will wake up to the reality that being old is something that is part of nature but not part of this manmade society. The society today is all about being fast and efficient. The young rule and if you are old, you have to either step back or risk losing all of your pride.
Sad but true. Of course now the younger generation or so you call the 3G can read and laugh at the plight of the old that have been reduced to pitiful souls, the old that have been structually unemployed and the old that have not enough earnings to retire. But won't it be our turn soon?
40 years down the road, I envision the situation to be worse. The old generation being well educated and all may have a different mindset from this current generation. We would live in denial and still pretend that age does not affect our way of life. But nature has it's way and soon no matter how educated or hip one is they would still grow old.
I understand the situation at hand. It is not that we do not want to help the old. After all, they are troublesome. Various reasons have contributed to the fact that the old are what they are today. The policies that the government implement are only for the economy to thrive and if you are old you can't contribute to the prosperity of the country. In fact you are a burden.
What can we do about this group of people? After all they are still living and breathing human beings that require attention, love and care. Sure they may be slow, stubborn and old fashion but who won't? After all these years, the old would not want to give up their way of life and if they were to learn new things, it would be very difficult at their age.
It is easy to say reskill or get out but isn't talk always cheap? The old need a society for themselves. They need to be away from the hustle and bustle of the urban life that we all live in. As the younger generation we must respect what they have done for our society when they were still in their younger years. And that respect can be shown by providing for them when they are old.
There should be a system where all the young working adults in Singapore pay a nominal fee, relative to their income, for the contribution to this trust which helps the old when they are needy.
Of course when this trust is set up, it cannot be abused. Only the truly needy old folks can apply for this welfare scheme that ensures them the basic neccesities to keep them going. Old folks that run out of CPF can apply for this scheme and be assured of enough to get by their days.
That being the case, this is only so much that we as the younger generation can do to pay back what the old have done for our society. They deserve it and I am sure the young would also want some sort of security when they turn old. This little bit of help can ensure that Singapore can be both a good place to work and turn old.

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