DON’T RUSH TO DIE!

We, the inhabitants of Singapore, seem to be always so much in a hurry.  Regardless of race, language or religion, you can ask any one of your friends how they are and chances are that they will say “very busy lah”.  Living in a highly-developed and dynamically-affluent society such as ours, this reflex and spontaneous response seem to sit unconsciously well with many of us.  We pride ourselves as exponents in new-age skill-sets such as multi-tasking, where the ability to juggle many things at one time determines how “successful” we are in managing our own existence.  The drastically-hectic world we live in acts like a whirlpool of sorts, sucking us deeper and deeper into the proverbial day-to-day humdrum of urban living.  “Keeping up with the Jones'” or should I say “the Tans” is as full-time a job as any for the “kiasu” bulk of our population.  It is unfortunate that rushing ourselves along to match up with our peers is very much a priority for a large majority of us, so much so that we forget to make right our own perspectives and enjoy the journey.

How many of you out there can attest to the fact that when you were very young, you were dying to grow up and be an adult?  I suppose that’s why toy manufacturers do a roaring business selling “grown-up kits” to children – small dolls that look like adults so that little Agnes can pretend to be “mum”, and mini stethoscopes so that little Tim can be inspired to become a doctor.  And the list goes on.

Reflecting back on things, those of us in primary school were dying to embark on secondary education, and those in secondary were dying to start university.  And after so many years of studying, many of us were just dying to get into the workforce.  And after we commenced working, we were dying to be promoted.  Afterwhich, we were dying to get married and have children.  And then we were dying for our children to grow up, be self-reliant, and to provide for us.  Then we’ll be dying to retire.  And then, we will die.  

You can appreciate that this mental state of mind fuels a vicious chronological cycle that can rob us of the opportunity to really “live”.  It is not unreasonable to realise that with all our effort focused on “dying”, we depreciate the fulfilment of our original intent, and that is to live our lives to the very fullest.  My friends, whichever stage of the voyage you are at right now, let this be a timely reality check.  The idea is not to frantically rush things through too much, but to learn to savour our lives one delicious morsel at a time. For if we choose not to take heed, we run the risk of disadvantaging ourselves somewhat and before we even know it, our lives would have accelerated by us in a giga-flash, alienating any sustainable pleasure we can obtain from it.

So don’t “rush” yourself to death. Enjoy the ride!

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