Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam recently cited Singapore should never limit its citizens who desire to work as long they are capable to deliver and make new learning a lifelong norm in the country.
Aside from showing kindness as a way of life and being involved in the community, Mr Tharman said these are essential things of living life to the fullest.
He was present at Dr William Wan’s book launching. Dr Wan, the general secretary of the Singapore Kindness Movement, launched his book, ‘Through The Valley: The Art of Living and Leaving Well’, which involved topics such as joyful ageing and grief.
The deputy prime minister noted initially, any work should be interesting to enable people to do it as long as they want.
The kind of work must also be modified as the society ages. Jobs should be altered and be made suitable based on the people’s abilities of what they can accomplish and recognise their contributions as workers.
He cited age can affect our brains and our bodies but all these changes can be resisted. The way to do it is keeping the passion to learn, stay active, and be given the opportunity to contribute to society.
Also, the book stresses the testimony of Dr Wan’s eight encounters with death, involving two car accidents breaking his leg and one incident where his ear needed some stitches.
Dr Wan’s inspiration to release his book was the result after getting the Active Ager Award from the Council for the Third Age in 2011. In the same year, he was recognised as the Active Ageing Ambassador.
When asked about his book at the event at the Science Centre Singapore, he elaborated, the main objective is very simple. I wanted to share my perceptions about active ageing and what I have become as an active ager.
Dr Wan added I want to let everybody know what I do on a daily basis, each year, and how I see meaning and purpose in life.
He noted he doesn’t know when he is going to die. So he has a period called life in between the two (birth and expiry) dates. How then should he live is what the book is all about.
Dr Wan, 71, had been a pastor, lawyer and theology lecturer. In his three-month sabbatical leave last year, he used his time to write the book. In its first printing run, he was able to sell over 3,000 copies out of its 3,500 initial prints. A reprint is currently underway.
In 2017, Dr Wan was given the President’s Volunteerism and Philanthropy Award.