The Prime Minister has made the nation aware of their health, but like New Year resolutions and one night stands – this awareness will disappear the next day… melted into the woks, pots and lard of the next meal time feast.
We need an inspiration, and this doesn’t require anything more than a trip to the hospital.
Just take a walk through the wards, see the tubes, the drips, the needles. Smell the disinfectant. Hear the moans, the sobs, the beeps and buzzes that cry for help, hear the artificial lung pump to preserve a life. The Cantonese say “One does not fear death if one hasn’t seen his coffin”, go to the hospital and watch how pain is embodied.
It’s not just diabetes, but total health. We’re allowed to indulge in greed and sloth because we work so hard. But stuffing our faces with so much rich food is not sustainable, there is consequence to be paid.
And you don’t pay alone, your whole family pays with you the price of money, time and tears.
Perhaps you may not fear death, but what if this death comes over a prolonged period of 6 months? What if you don’t die, but your limbs cannot move and you depend entirely on the charity of your family for every day needs? What if you don’t have a family? What if you get a disease that requires you to pay through the nose in terms of medical consumables, 24-hour care, extensive tests? And what if the government tells your carer that he fails means testing because he has an income?
What if you find yourself a burden on the very person that cares for you? And that person cannot live his life the way he wants to…has to give up opportunities and has to find means and ways to that he can provide for you? What if this person can feel the burden, but is not allowed to complain about it because this is morally, ethically and spiritually wrong – but just has to swallow it all and trudge on day after day? Imagine this not for just one year, or two…but over 20 years and will continue on and on until the day you die?
We know that birth, sickness, pain and death are all written in the book of life – but at the very least I think we must fight as far and as hard as we can. It is a responsibility, not just to ourselves – but to the people around us. I can certainly understand the feelings behind each report of a suicide/murder involving a parent and a child or a maid.
Remember: your family will necessarily have to help you.Nursing homes, elder daycare and hourly help are at maximum capacity and prohibitively expensive. If you can, perhaps you can employ a helper… but you have to know how to manage a helper or your troubles can be trebled. If you think that childcare is difficult, wait till you experience eldercare.
Although it is appointed unto men once to die, we can help the people around us by dying as fuss-free as possible.