Old People Activities

I will tell you why I wrote this article.  There were a few times that I asked myself this question.  What are the activities that old people can do?

My story began a few years back when I was in Hong Kong visiting my brothers and sisters.  Most people live in apartments in Hong Kong, there are lots of high rise buildings – apartments.  I used to live there many years ago before I migrated to New Zealand and afterward to Australia.  I am currently living in Melbourne, one of the best cities in the world.




In Hong Kong,  when you go down to the streets in the morning, you will see some old people.   Few of them might be sitting together chatting, or you can see some all alone by themselves.  They were just watching other people passing by.  Young people going to work, housewives going shopping and children going to school.  Everyone are busy, in a rush, except them.

They have nothing to do, so they just sit around watching the world turning.  Or you can say, watching grass grow. If they are lucky, they have friends they can talk to.  If not, they just sit there all by themselves doing nothing.

When I saw them, I felt very sad.  I felt like my heart have sunk into a deep ocean and my foot steps suddenly felt so heavy.  That was at that moment, I asked myself, “Why are these old people sitting there doing nothing?  Is there something meaningful that they can do?”

They have obviously worked for their whole life and now they have retired.  To the society, these old people are now useless – they have passed their “use-by-date”.  They are now waiting for their life to end.  I saw old people doing the same thing in Singapore too.

At the same time, I was thinking about myself, “Would I be sitting around doing nothing, just like them, when I grow old?”  I tell myself, “I won’t.”

What will I do?  Everyone will grow old.  Is it all we can do is to wait for death to come?  Have you ever asked yourself this question?

It took me a long time to come up with a satisfactory answer.

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What will I do?

After I retired, if I only have one more year to live.  If I sit around doing nothing, I will be wasting one year of my life.  I want to do something meaningful even I have only a few months to live.  I retired doesn’t mean I am useless.

Here are some of the things that I would like to do:-

  • have a hobby and do something I like, e.g. wood working, making clay models, drawing pictures, writing stories, etc.
  • do some voluntary work, help other people who need me.
  • teach young people the skills that I have.
  • do something for the people and the city I live in.

I will make myself useful.

A remarkable man

I remembered I saw on TV a special documentary about an old man.  He was doing part time job and he only works half a day.  After work, he will go to a public toilet near his house and he will clean the toilet.  He didn’t get pay cleaning the toilet and no one asked him to do that.  It is voluntary.

He made the toilet so clean that people gave him some money for what he did as an appreciation.  He used the money to buy cleaning product and if he has money left, he would give the rest to charity.

His action has attracted the attention of the media, otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to saw him on television.

“What a remarkable person!” I commented silently.  “I want to be like him one day.”  Now I know that day will come for me.  I might not be cleaning the toilet, but I can pick up rubbish on the street.

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Why old people sit and do nothing?

As I have come to the conclusion what I will be doing when I am old.  At the beginning, I don’t know why so many old people could just idle.  I spent a few sleepless nights thinking about it.

I came to the conclusion that these old people are selfish.  When they are young, they go to work and make money for themselves and their own family.  When they are old, there is nothing that they can do for themselves, so there is nothing to do.  The idea of helping others never enters their mind.

Besides, they are not interested in any other things.  They have no interest in art, music and science.  It was because when they are young, their only interest was money and nothing else.

My heart sank even lower when I came to the understanding, my sadness deepened.  The more I understand people and the more I start to understand why our world has so much suffering.

My heart is weeping at the moment and I cannot continue writing.  I might come back and finish it later.

Signing off



Jerry · December 27, 2014 at 11:46 am

Old people are not useless and selfish. About 80% of my Lions club members are ‘old people’, they actively participate in club activities – raising funds, helping individuals and the community. Their contribution to the society is much appreciated. We all have a choice how to live our live. If you choose to do nothing meaningful, you are worthless even at a young age. Look at those street kids in our cities.

    admin · December 27, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Hi Jerry,
    Thanks for your comment. The people in your Lions Club are nice people who are willing to help others. They are different from the ones I saw in Hong Kong and Singapore. They just sit and do nothing. I agreed with you that everyone need to contribute something good to our society.
    It is so sad to see those street kids. They create trouble for us instead of helping.

    Therefore education is so important.


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