Learn, Unlearn and Relearn

It is said that sixty is the new forty in the new age of ageing. Longer, healthier lives lead to the current generation hitting middle age later. This argument has gained acceptance with evidence supported by the longevity of Hollywood film stars and evergreen singers. The well-known politician Dr Mahathir returns to power in his sprightly 90s. We are shifting the definition of ‘old age’ upwards. The retirement age has risen progressively. People are working longer and feeling more engaged, active and productive. With an emphasis on lifestyle reducing sedentary behaviour has resulted in a new breed of active elderly enjoying better health in their 60s emerged.

Recently as I taught my first class for the Seniors for Smart Nation program (Note[1]) at the People’s Association, I witnessed this new breed of self-motivated who work part-time or volunteer. They probably belong to the Merdeka generation (Note  [2]).

I noticed that the seniors in my class have high-end smartphones. They are not only technology savvy and conversant with Google Mail and WhatsApp to connect with others, they are well travelled and use their smartphones extensively for photography and videography. While they are eager to manage their limitation of phone storage with cloud storage, they are concerned about the inherent internet security risks. They are well exposed to the technology indeed!

Though seniors feel physically younger, it is crucial to look after their mental and spiritual well-being. Technological advancement allows people to be more connected than ever. Overuse of social media and mobile devices can have negative impacts. This delicate balance between serenity and technology should be an overriding intention in achieving a healthy lifestyle.

Alvin Toffler once said, ‘The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.’ Singapore is a city of learning, a city of possibilities and a city of opportunities. I am happy to be able to contribute to their journeys of learning, unlearning and relearning to grow old gracefully, actively and joyfully.

[1] The Seniors for Smart Nation is a program that provides a series of IT courses that help seniors to be Smart Nation-ready.

[2] Merdeka generation is defined as people born in the 1950s, a generation that lived with uncertainties in Singapore when Singapore underwent a tumultuous period that led to its independence in 1965 and the early nation-building years after that. (Source: Today 3 Mar 19. https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/born-1950s-merdeka-generation-lived-uncertainties-worked-singapores-early-industries).

1 Comment

  1. […] Learn, Unlearn and Relearn […]

Leave a Comment