Friday, March 15, 2013

Singaporean Elderly, The Unknown Heroes

Have you ever thought what will you be or you do when you are in your 60s, 70s or maybe 80s? You have worked hard on your young age with a goal to enjoy what you have in your old days. Maybe you picture yourself enjoying your retired days, traveling the world, sit on a beach bent somewhere far away from your home country enjoy the sunset or a simple one, you just relaxing at your house reading your favorite books and watching your grandchildren play around happily. I do have those pictures in my head.

A couple days ago, I just went back from my short vacation to Singapore. When I was there, the thing that quite gave me a shock was the Singaporean elderly who are still working in their 60s to 80s. They are cleaning tables and dustbins, sweeping and mobbing the floor, collecting rubbish, even cleaning the toilets. I know that there is a regulation in Singapore that said those kind of jobs are only for the elderly, but isn't break your heart when you see these pictures?

I took the picture at 10.00 pm at Kopitiam Lavender MRT station. I remembered my late grandfather usually slept at 8.00 pm but yet the Singaporean elderly are still working late at night. I know it is a life demand that make them still working in their age. Maybe they feel happy to be able to work because that means they're still useful even though they are not in productive age anymore, but still I feel really sorry for them.

The grandfather in the picture was the one who cleaned my table. I swear I just said a simple "thank you" to him when he almost finished clean my table. He looked at me for a couple seconds, startled, then he nod and gave me a slight smile then left. Seriously, do people never say thank you to him? To the elderly who are not in their best physical condition to work but they do not complain to do the dirty jobs literally? 

For Singaporeans who read this, I know it's your daily life to see them working like that since you were born, but do appreciate them. Don't you feel a little bit happiness in your heart when someone say thank you for your hard work especially when most people don't "see" you? Do you realize they might be you in your old days? So for all of you, try to appreciate them by saying the 2 magic words. If you had, keep it up. If you haven't, start now. Without them, there will be no clean Singapore.


Nad'z said...

Thumbs up for this post.

It shocked me big time at my first trip to Singapore.I feel like crying when I saw an old lady with a hunch back, walking slowly from table to table and clean them.
And yes, I also figured that a simple 'thank you' can be such an encouragement for them.

Maybe they are working not mainly because of their financial condition but more to stay active in their old days so they won't loose their memories.
But still, I wish there are other things to do for them...

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