Is It Too Late To Change?
In June of 2009 Chao Mu-he, 96 received a Masters in Philosophy from Nanhua University in Taiwan. He said that he began the graduate program after the hospital where he volunteered felt he was too old to continue. He said that he was bored and didn’t really have a hobby. A friends’ son was reluctant to go back to school and Chao suggested that they enroll and study together. The article I read shows Mr. Chao proudly wearing his cap and gown at his graduation.
The messages that many of us have received over the years is that when we reach “retirement” age we should be prepared to sit on the porch, sip iced tea, rub the dog’s head and wait for the mailman to deliver our retirement checks.
Several things are wrong with this picture:
- There is no real retirement age. Many people have put in the required time at a job for a pension by the time they are in their early to mid fifties. Given our current state of health care the assumption is that in your fifties you are still physically capable of working if desired.
- People in their sixties and beyond are also better able to continue contributing to society and therefore they may not be ready to leave the work force either.
- The economy dictates that people continue to work to pay higher property taxes and to support the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed.
- Boredom is a terrible thing! It is very hard for many people just to sit on the porch.
- There is science to back up the fact that if you don’t use the brain over time we lose some of our abilities. So the more active we keep our minds the better!
It’s not too late for change. Let’s go for it!