Had a conversation with an older colleague today over lunch. He is 65, and about to retire by the end of this year. He told us:
“At this age, you’ll realize life actually has got no meaning. Like what’s life? You wake up, go to work get yelled at by your boss and tolerate colleagues, earn enough to pay bills and support your family, and once or twice a year, you go overseas for a short burst of happiness. You come back and then everything is back to normal. Some of you are stressed about buying a house, some want to buy a nice car, some of you are stressed about marriage wondering if you have enough money to bring up your kid, and some of you work so so hard till never eat lunch and then fall sick. You add so much burden and kept adding and adding till you feel heavy every month. And at the end of the day, you realize your entire life was spent chasing something. You add so much burden to yourself that you didn’t get to fully enjoy life. And when you reach 65, it’s too late, your entire life just went by and you have missed it.”
And funny enough, a few of us can already relate to his statements at the age of 25-35. The mundane way of living has become the default standard. The more we earn, the more we feel burdened. We look forward to our salary, only to see it down by half the very next hour after paying for our expenses and bills. We work our butts off, chase for that promotion, getting by with minimal hours of sleep. Weekends / off days are literally for you to sleep at home to prepare for the arduous week ahead. Yes, people always argue that we should “not compare and be thankful” or the redditor’s favorite line “i just don’t compare lol” but saying that is as easy as saying “bro, it’s okay one” to someone after the passing of his loved ones. It’s not the same. Ans especially in Singapore when everything is so fast-paced, and people are always challenging and ousting one another, it can truly wear down someone. Recently heard about an ex-schoolmate who committed suicide because he felt as tho didn’t do his job well as a father and it made me realize how fragile life truly is.
So folks, what’s the meaning of life to you and how do you find meaning in life?
Edit: Seems like this post blew up and made it to WakeupSingapore and with exposure comes varying experiences and insights. Thanks to those who positively contributed to this thread. All I can say is to be civil and do not negate the experiences of others. You might be the lucky enlightened few who found joy in everything but there are always people around you who felt otherwise. And seeing how some people negate such experiences is exactly the reason why some Singaporeans are afraid of speaking up about their struggles. Only when an anonymous platform is presented will the stories start flowing in. That instead of reaching out we continue to trample on them by saying they’re too emotional and weak and “to be more grateful about life lolz”. Look behind the smiles of those closest to you, they might be quietly suffering without you realising. Take a step by asking them how’s their day, you’d be surprised.
Anyway, life is what you make of it; the good and the bad. When you look back at life and when you share stories to your grandchildren next time, I hope your stories will be filled with nothing but smiles and laughter