In praise of retirement
The biggest fear in most humans is death and the second biggest fear is retirement
I can understand fear of death but why are men so scared to retire?
Even if they are financially secure,men will not retire at 60,the earliest retirement age.
There must be something wrong in the very basic fundamental attitude that society breeds of a retired man-an image of boredom or of uselessness or sick and diseased or a parasite .
“You’re too young to retire” is the most common reaction you will face.
“What will you do the whole day?” everyone asks.
The women would worry about having a man on their hands to look after the whole day,and worry that their freedom would get curtailed.And you will find few women encouraging retirement especially early retirement.
And the men dont wish to retire because they have just started earning huge salaries with great perks so retirement would suddenly cut off all that power,the money etc. and would alter their lifestyle totally.
So greed keeps them going on and on and on.Work till you drop dead.
I think its sad that the system is such that a person becomes so productive only at such a late age that society would not want to give up the services of that person at the age of sixty.Its sad for the individual concerned,not for society.Its the individual who is missing out on the golden age.You have studied and then worked all these years,and you need to enjoy the remaining years of your life after sixty.Who knows when the end is going to come?
If all the top posts were to be given to men in their late forties then they could retire at sixty.
If all mortgages were planned so that by 45 you have no liabilities,you could plan to retire by 60.Wishful thinking,but possible ,if a whole generation is taught the value of time spent on yourself without feeling guilty or insecure.
What Bill Gates has done by retiring at 52 is simply amazing.Not for anybody else but for himself.
What growth he will discover in his early retirement ,only he will know.But I am glad he has set an example to the world.I hope many many others follow him.If the senior staff in Microsoft follows his example, en masse,it will be a revolution.The younger generation would all get promoted, and the retired seniors can help the juniors and also work towards making the world a better place.
There are so many joys,so many pleasures that life offers-and all these dont require a lot of money.But they do require time.
You have to take time off.And grow within so that you become richer and richer from inside.This richness cannot be measured by society.But a society which is full of Buddhas is obviously going to be a rich society.
I would like to end the post with an extract from the Tao:
“It is important to know ” When to Stop”,
Otherwise there is danger of becoming overfull.
If you keep on sharpening a sword endlessly
It is bound to become useless.
If you keeping on filling a house with gold and diamonds,
It is bound to fill you with tension and fear of being robbed.
The way of the Tao
Is to know when you have Enough.
To know you have Enough
Is to be filled with Joy and Contentment.”
When You have done your job…Retire.