Sunday, January 13, 2008

Harry Lee Kuan Yew 85 Last Tips on Active Ageing; Retirement means death; Avoid Total Isolation; Get Stimuli & Challenge to Get on in Extended life

More pictures are coming..

Harry Lee Kuan Yew 85 Last Tips on Active Ageing; Retirement means death; Avoid Total Isolation; Get Stimuli & Challenge to Get on in Extended life

Harry Lee may be 85 but there's life in the old dog yet. What he is saying is that that you got to believe in yourself and there is NO LIMIT to the self. In this physical existence you are learning how to handle the inexhaustible energy that is available to you. Some of your feelings and thoughts are translated into OBJECTS in a medium you call space. Others are translated into EVENTS in a medium you call time. Space and time concepts (exist in physical realm) are illusions. They exist only in the physical realm.

It is all well and good for him to urge people on positive thinking while sometime beneficial, usually do not take into consideration the habitual nature of negative feelings, aggressions, or repressions. Often these are merely swept under the rug without telling you what to do to get out of the predicament you may be in, and without understanding the vicious circle that may seem to entrap you. Negative beliefs often catch up with the individual, leading to various diseases but these have to be inserted with great repetitiveness before you meet their physical results

He could not explain how thoughts and emotions cause reality or the fact that ultimately each personality while following definite general laws must still find and follow his or her own way of adapting these to personal circumstances. He is ageing on a different plane and under constant care & observations of medical care. How MANY are exposed to such privileges in life to live up into the nineties?

Life and death are but two faces of your eternal, ever changing existence, however. Feel and appreciate the joy of your own being. Many live into their nineties without ever appreciating to that extent the beauty of their being. Your spirit joined itself with flesh, and in flesh, to experience a world of incredible richness. Your spirit was born in flesh to enrich a marvelous area of sense awareness, to feel energy made into corporeal form.
Coming back to retiring at 62? It would be a welcome news for those who do not fear and believe that old age is a time of spiritual/or physical deterioration or the beginning of an era in which all the hard worn attributes of maturity vanish and the reasoning faculties vanish. Old age must be viewed as a highly creative part of living with much wisdom. The mind actually becomes more itself, freer to use more of its abilities, allowed to stray from restricted areas, to assimilate, acknowledge and create.
The chemical and hormonal changes that occur are conducive to spiritual and psychic growth. In many cultures, an individual is not considered in terms of his age at all and the numbering of age is regarded as insignificant. It would do us all good – young, middle age and old alike – to forget the number of your years because so many of the beliefs are limiting in those ways. Youth is denied its wisdom and old age denied its joy. Actually the point of reality and power is, once more, in our current experience. Lee Kuan Yew at his age (85 this year) is drawing upon qualities and knowledge that “existed” in his past or “will exist” in his future by acting as if the ages are probable (simultaneous). Our own conclusions and beliefs about age become fact in our experience. If you could convince yourself that you were ten years younger, or ten years older, then it would be faithfully reflected in the environment.

The same pattern can be seen in the elderly and ideas of retirement. For hidden within them is the belief that at one time or another, at a specific age, your powers will begin to fail. These ideas are usually accepted by the young and old alike. In believing them, the young automatically begin the gradual conditioning of their own bodies and minds and the results will be reaped. So to stay young, discard all the core beliefs about old age. Or change the mindset as the old chestnut has advised. For those ageing gracefully, you can get excited with the stimuli (from computers & internet) and stay abreast with the changes and challenges in them. We cannot follow this privileged old dog of traveling everywhere.
= == == = from S'pore; Jan 11, 2008

ABOVE: LKY and his entourage arriving and BELOW: Given the VIP seats

Retirement means death, don't stop working: M By Clarissa Oon

'With nothing to do, no purpose in life, you'll just degrade, go to seed,' said Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew who turns 85 this year. A SEDENTARY retirement will sound the death knell for anyone, said Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, who is determined to keep active for as long as he can.
'With nothing to do, no purpose in life, you'll just degrade, go to seed,' he said on Friday at a dialogue session at which he shared his experiences of active ageing with participants at the Silver Industry Conference and Exhibition (Sicex), held at Suntec Convention Centre. The four-day conference, which ends on Sunday explores ways to grow the seniors' market in
Singapore and the region. Mr Lee said that an active life, regular exercise and frequent travel were his secrets to ageing gracefully. 'I would not be able to speak to you in this way if I had not led a very active life, connected with many people throughout the world and tried to interpret it to make sense for Singapore,' said the elder statesman, who turns 85 this year. 'I'm determined that I will not, as long as I can, have my horizons slowed on me.'

ABOVE & BELOW: Before sharing his experiences of active ageing with participants at the Silver Industry Conference and Exhibition (Sicex), held at Suntec Convention Centre.

= == == = Transcript of MM Lee's speech & comments at dialogue

He added: 'We got to educate those about to retire: Don't retire, work. Retirement means death.' And he meant every word of it. He said those who believed they could stop work at 55 to drink wine and play golf were 'done in'. 'Research has shown that those who lead a sedentary life tend to die quickly,' said MM Lee, who started jogging regularly in his 50s and now also keeps fit by swimming and cycling. He maintains a packed schedule of international travel, including at least one official trip a year to regional powerhouses China and India.

The biggest punishment a man can receive, he said, is 'total isolation', which he defined as 'if you're not interested in the world and if the world is not interested in you'. 'If the mindset is that I'll reach retirement at age 62, I'm old, I can't work anymore, I don't have to work, I just sit back, now is the time I enjoy life, I think you're making the biggest mistake of your life,' he said. 'After one month...two months, even if you go travelling with nothing to do, with no purpose in life, you would get degraded, you go to seed. The human being needs a challenge.' MM Lee also defended the Central Provident Fund scheme and argued against pensions for the elderly, which have to be supported by tax revenues. The CPF scheme, he said, helps Singapore to remain competitive, as it aims for 'minimum tax rates and maximum self-sufficiency'. 'This way you are not passing the burden (of caring for the elderly) to the next generation,' he added.

= == ==

Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew shared his own experiences of active ageing at a dialogue session at the Silver Industry Conference and Exhibition (Sicex) on Friday. Excerpts of his speech and responses during the Q&A: "My concern today, what is it I can tell you which can add to your knowledge about ageing and what ageing societies can do. You know more about this topic than I do. A lot of it is out in the media, Internet and books. So I thought the best way maybe is to take a personal standpoint and tell you how I approach this question of ageing. If I cast my mind back, I can see turning points in my physical and mental health. I assumed good health was God-given and would always be there.

ABOVE: LKY on extreme Left in his early PAP days

When I was about 34 in 1957, we're competing in elections, and I was really fond of drinking beer and smoking. And after the election campaign in Victoria Memorial Hall, we had won the election with the City Council election campaign, I couldn't thank the voters because I had lost my voice. I'd been smoking furiously. I'd take a packet of 10 to deceive myself, but I'd light through the packet just sitting on the stage watching the crowd, getting the feeling, the mood before I speak... In other words, there were three speeches a night, three speeches a night, plenty of cigarettes, a lot of beer after that, and the voice was gone. I remember I had a case in Kuching, Sarawak.

So I took a flight and I felt awful. I had to make up my mind whether I was going to be an effective campaigner and a lawyer, in which case I cannot destroy my voice, and I can't go on. So I stopped smoking. It was a tremendous deprivation because I was addicted to it. And I used to wake up...The nightmare was I resumed smoking! But I made a choice and said if I continue with it, I will not be able to do my job. I didn't know anything about cancer of the throat or oesophagus or the lungs, etc. But it turned out it had many other deleterious effects. Strangely enough after that, I became very allergic, hyper-allergic to smoking, so much so that I would plead with my Cabinet ministers not to smoke in the Cabinet room: "You want to smoke, please go out, because I get allergy."

I had a beer belly Then one day I was at the home of my colleague, Mr Rajaratnam, meeting foreign correspondents including...and they took a picture of me and I had a big belly in my chest, a beer belly. I felt no, no, this will not do. So I started playing more golf... But this didn't go down! There was only one way it could go down - consume less, burn out more. Another turning point came when I was, this was 1976, '77 after the general elections, I was feeling tired. So I was breathing deeply at the Istana at the lawn. So my daughter who was at that time just graduating as a doctor said: "What are you trying to do?" I said: "I feel an effort to breathe in more oxygen." She said:

"Don't play golf. Run." So she gave me a book, quite a famous book and then very current in America on how you score aerobic points swimming, running, whatever it is. I looked at it sceptically. I wasn't a bit keen on running. I was keen on golf. So I said, let's try. So in between golf shots while playing on my own...I was trying to walk fast between shots. Then I began to run between shots. And I felt better. After a while I said, "Okay, after my golf, I'd run." And after a few years I said: "Golf takes so long. The running takes15 minutes. Let's cut down the golf and let's run." I think the most important thing in ageing is you got to understand yourself. And the knowledge now is all there. When I was growing up, the knowledge wasn't there. I had to get the knowledge from friends, from doctors.

But perhaps the most important piece of knowledge that the doctors gave me was one day, I said: "Look, always I'm feeling slower and sluggish." This is Dr... He's now retired. So he gave me a medical encyclopaedia and he turned the right pages to ageing. I read it up and that was illuminating. A lot of it was difficult jargon but I just skimmed it through to get the gist of it. As you grow, you're born, you grow, you reach 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75 and then often...gradual slowdown physically. Mentally you carry on and on and on until I don't know what age. The mathematicians will tell you that they know your best output is when they're in their 30s and 40s when the mental energy is powerful and you haven't got them... That's what they tell me. So as you acquire more knowledge, you then craft a programme for yourself to maximise what you have.

It's just commonsense. I never planned to live till 85 or 84. I just didn't think about it. I said, "Well, my mother died when she was 74, she had a stroke. My father died when he was 94." When I saw him, and he lived a long life, well, he... But more than that, he swam every day and he kept himself busy. He was working for the Shell company. He was in charge physically. When he retired, he started becoming a salesman. So people used to tell me: "Your father is selling watches at BP de Silva." And I was... the prime minister, his father... My father was then living with me. But it kept him busy. It kept him meeting friends, he's had a routine. He meets people, he sells watches, he buys and sells all kinds of semi-precious stones, and coins. And he keeps going. By the 80s, 88, he fell, going down the steps from his room to the dining room, broke his arm, three months incapacitated. Thereafter he couldn't go back to swimming. Then he became wheelchair- bound.... and he lived on till 94. But towards the end he had a series of medical problems.

So my calculation is that I'm somewhat between 74 and 94. And I've reached the halfway point now. Well, 1996 when I was 73, I was cycling and I felt... I must retire today. So I stopped. Next day I returned to the bicycle. After five minutes it became worse. I said, no, no, it's something serious; it's got to do with the blood vessels. So I got my doctor to come tomorrow. By tomorrow he checked me and said: "Come back tomorrow for an angiogram...We found something and we'll see whether your coronary arteries are cleared or blocked." I was going to go home. But an MP who was a cardiologist happened to be around, so he came in during his absence.

He said: "Don't go home. You stay here tonight. I've sent patients home and they never came back. Just stay here. They'll put you on the monitor. They'll watch your heart. And if anything...they will take you straight to theatre. You go home. You got no such monitor. You may never come back." So I stayed there. The artery was blocked ...but it was not critical. So that's lucky for me. Two weeks later I was walking around and I felt it coming back. So this time they said: "We'll put in a stent." And the stent, and I'm one of the first few in Singapore to have the stent. Fortunately the man who invented the stent was out here selling his stent. He was from San Jose, La Jolla something or the other. So my doctor got hold of him and he supervised the operation, put the stent in, and after he did the operation, he just watched me ... to make sure that the gut didn't occlude and create the sternum.

Cut out fats at danger point So at each stage I learnt something more about myself and I thought that this is now a danger point. So all right, cut out fats, change diet, went to see a specialist in Boston, Massachusetts General Hospital. He said "Take statin." I said: "What's that?" "Help to reduce your cholesterol." My doctor said . "Your cholesterol levels are okay." Two years later more medical evidence came out. So doctor said take statin. So had there been no angioplasty, had I not known that something was not up and I cycled on, I must have gone at 74 like my mother. So I lived that deadline. So next deadline, my father's fall at 87. And I'm very careful now because sometimes when I climb around too fast, I feel as if I'm going to fall, cannot balance. So my daughter, a neurologist, took me to the NNI, nerve conduction test, put electrodes here and there. "Oh your transmission of the messages...and the brain has slowed down." So all the exercise, everything, effort put in, I'm fit, I swim, I cycle.

But I can't prevent this losing of conductivity of the nerves and its transmission. So you have to go slow. So when I climb up the steps, I have no problem. When I go down the steps, I need to be sure that I got something I can hang on to just in case. So it's a constant process of adjustment. If you isolate yourself, you're done But I think the most important single lesson I learnt in life was that if you isolate yourself, you're done for. The human being is a social animal, he needs stimuli, he needs people...the world. I don't much like travel but I travel very frequently in spite of the jet lag, because I get to meet people .who will help me in my work as chairman of our GIC... I'm on several boards of banks, international monetary board of banks, oil companies and so on. And I'll meet them and I get to understand what's happening in the world, what has changed.

I was here one month ago, one year ago. I go to India, I go to China. And that stimuli brings me to the world of today. If you sit back.. withdraw from everything and then all you will have is your bedroom and your photographs and the furniture that you know, and that's your world. So when I go to hospital, the doctor advised me to bring some photographs so that you'll know you're not locked in a different world, that this is like your bedroom. I'll not reduce my horizons I'm determined that I will not, as long as I can, reduce or have my horizons slowed on me like that. I need stimuli because constant interaction with people across the world keeps me aware and alive to what's going on and what we can do to adjust to this different world.

In other words, you must have stimuli in life. If you believe that at 55 you're retiring,'re done in. So typically they will show you that all the people who retire and lead sedentary life, the pensioners die off very quickly. So we now have a social problem with medical scientists, new procedures, new drugs, many more people are going to live long lives. If the mindset is that I'll reach retirement age 62, I'm old, I can't work anymore, I don't have to work, I just sit back, now is the time I enjoy life, I think you're making the biggest mistake of your life. After one month, go up to two months, even if you go travelling with nothing to do, with no purpose in life, you would get degraded, you go to seed. The human being needs a challenge, and my advice to every person in Singapore and elsewhere, keep yourself interested, have a challenge. If you're not interested in the world and the world is not interested in you, the biggest punishment a man can receive is total isolation, black...complete withdrawal of all stimuli, that's real torture. So when I read that our people believe in retiring at 62, I said to them: "You really want to die quickly?" If you want to see sunrise tomorrow or sunset, you must have a reason, you must have the stimuli to keep going."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great to see your post. Wonder if you have the video, it would be great if you could upload it. I am sure many people would love to watch. It's much more vivid than text transcripts.

1:37 PM  
Blogger multidimid said...

Hi anonymous, thanks for visiting
Go H E R E
to Straits Times Com on line and at the bottom you can see 2 Vodcasts - excerpts of what he said - 3.40 & 1.49 mins

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Skerning said...

I was there at Sicex and it was interesting to see Mr.Lee gave an insightful speech. Do you have the entire video including the Q&A?

2:26 PM  
Anonymous Skerning said...

Cant find anything there in the URL. Can send it to pls

I have searched the entire internet and found no audio. It was great to listen to MM Lee's speech.

9:54 AM  
Blogger Negi said...

Thanks for great information you write it very clean. I am very lucky to get this tips from you

Quit Drinking on your own

4:12 PM  

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