It may be a bad knee, a nagging cough or you are just trying to remember what you are supposed to remember. For people in their twilight years, dreams and aspiration are few and far between. For most, living means taking each day as it comes, with some even requiring to manage the pain, mentally and physically to get through the day,
Love and passion is what drives people to stay young and live with a purpose. For some pioneers of Singapore, the lack of education opportunities during the early years of nation building often mean that old age is a massive struggle. Depending on one 's circumstance, the lack of money and family can lead to isolation and depression. Hopefully, aging would be a gentler process for baby boomers who grew up in the 60s. Singapore has more safeguards in place now such as CPF (Central Provident Fund) which gives some social security and with better education, the "younger" seniors now have more options of exploring their passions and engaging themselves mentally beyond retirement.
I happen to chance upon a very interesting exhibition at Central Mall on the 25 Oct 2015 featuring the art works of some seniors at the Toa Payoh Care Corner Senior Activity Centre. In their 70s and 80s, they had the courage to pick up painting under the guidance of a trainer and after 3 years of training, some interesting works of nature and even self portraits have come up. Love the stories behind the paintings - of how an 80 year old soft spoken housewife with no formal education had to be gently persuaded to join and how that led to her transformation into an enthusiastic student whom teachers love. Or even how a 70 year old part time cleaner with an independent streak now loves to paint. Most of these works have already been sold to the public with proceeds to go to charity. ( I actually captured more works at the exhibition which included beautiful photography but unfortunately, some of the shots are irretrievable due to a technical problem with my camera.)
These seniors must be thrilled. Not only are their works featured in an exhibition but are actually good enough for the public to want to buy them. I love the picture of the bird by Fong Wai Khuan but it was already sold. Shows we should never stop learning at any age. Engaging the mind and keeping the passion alive keeps the momentum of growing young going.