Monday 19 October 2015

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam – 19 October  2015

Retirement Age

As per ‘economy next’ article ‘Sri Lankans living longer than other S. Asians, retiring prematurely’:
 - [In Sri Lanka, people are retiring prematurely,” says Indralal de Silva, a professor and dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Colombo. ]

Taking the two together one would conclude that working longer would kill us early. It may – but would it give us a better quality life? Just last week – walking along Coogee Coastal walkway – I noticed the picture of a person of Indian looks posted along the walkway. Today I learnt through the Island that this is the picture of Mr. Rajah Thangarajah of Eastlakes who is reported to be 62 years, is semi-retired and has gone missing for a week. I am 65 and the walk was an exception due to time limitation. To most, it would look as if I am fully retired. The general measures is whether we receive an income by being at a workplace. What about women who are full time homemakers?

As per the above article["In all South Asian countries except Sri Lanka, the retirement age is higher than their healthy life expectancy,”  Professor de Silva said.
“In Sri Lanka it’s the other way around. Our healthy life expectancy is 72 years while the mandatory retirement age is 60 years. At that age most Sri Lankans are still healthy enough to work,” de Silva added.]

The question is whether they are mentally fit to work as per the requirements of current workplace and their homes. Some retire early and participate in homemaking activities. Others go into Service work – at temples/churches and community centers. The Sri Lankan President is 64 and continues to ‘work’. The Prime Minister who is two years his senior in age is also active in his work.  By the above statement – they are both working beyond the official retirement age for the citizens.  All politicians above 60  need to then be Governors and not  Administrators. They must engage strictly in Homemakers’ work or Service work. When they get paid – they tend to become active – and hence tend to live off their past. Likewise Academics.

Governors would not go up and down with visible outcomes. They would keep raising the matter until it merges with Policy through Human Minds. Human Minds get restructured through this escalation process. Those who have high mind-order would operate at this level and would enjoy retirement from paid work. They are Policy makers.

Others who are physically and mentally active – would need to ‘see’ outcomes and hence they need paid work to be healthy. Such ‘activists’ should not be in ‘Governing’ positions except to maintain the structure when the Institution is not able to find a real Governor. This applies to our families also. Premature retirement of homemakers often results in increase in the need for aged-care facilities. Those who live off the seen and the heard – without connection to the Truth – tend to go back to childhood mind-order – especially once they retire from paid work.

Those who are True to themselves would find value in any work that is needed by their current environment/family/community/nation. Those who value institutional structures – would develop / restructure Institutions to include their own discoveries. To me there can be no better retirement life than that. As for Mr. Thangarajah – he might have become absent minded – if he was an ‘activist’ but without anyone needing his active work. Tamil Community Associations in the Western suburbs of Sydney often facilitate activists and save them from going prematurely into nursing homes. Those of us living in the Eastern suburbs are left large to our own individual mind-orders. A relative of ours went with his family from Colombo to Chennai and got lost there. Later his son’s friend found him at a temple. Our relative said he did not know where he was. It’s  important that we are in our ‘familiar’ territories in old age – so we could access the facilities that we have contributed to. The blessing in our makeup is that if we lose our memory – we not relate through our past. It’s like rebirth. It’s the ones that lost us who would be more affected as they have their memory of our past as well as their consciousness of family, community and social reactions. Likewise when we switch to Zero Base Budgeting – we need to ‘lose’ our Relative memory but not the Truth. So long as we take only our Truth – in our memory – we would blend with any new environment – including post-war Sri Lanka and Australia as a migrant nation to a Sri Lankan.  

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