A man is considered as a microcosm of the world. He has to play his Destined role as an actor on the cosmic stage of life. A day, after all, comes when he has to retire from the routine working process of life. Retirement, therefore, is a turning point in one’s ongoing routine of life. But the term retirement has got different for different men or women due to the pattern of one’s working conditions. A retired man or woman of a private organization, a professor, a teacher, a civil servant or a military man will be having quite different approach in one’s social circle, behaviorism and attitudes. One gets rid off already set views, plans and procedure of daily routine.
It is a sad state of affairs that in our country (Pakistan), the retirement renders a man or a woman to a discarded stage after only a few months’ detracting from the regular run of life routine. The dominating reason being insufficient financial or material possessions and, of course, sudden change in the behaviorism of one’s own family members, relatives and friends who have been holding him or her in esteem before retirement and you feel totally rudderless at sea. The life looks like a meaningless routine. All rosy dreams, excitement, engrossing in the heap of bulky files, ‘Gup-shup’ and interaction with influential dignitaries comes to a standstill all at once and you are left alone/forlorn with no to your company and instead cocooned to either television or recalling the golden old days to further get into deep depression. Now you only hear your heart-beat and distant conversations and whisperings of the inmates of your family members who hardly find time to sit or chat with you in a lively manner. There is only a small portion of the retirees preferably from civil services with high ranks who adjust themselves quickly into new and enjoyable activities and life-style, of course with premeditated and preplanned objectives to grab financial means legitimately or illegitimately.
The majority is seen depressed, bored and lonesome when the brain and body go through a shock, because youth, modern society and changing trends of lifestyles are given more importance and weight for both commercial and material reasons. The old people are normally taken as unwanted and useless. Even the own family members start pitying a retired guy. Whereas as per Victor Hugo:-
“The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved, Loved for ourselves – say rather loved in spite of ourselves.”
How can one be loved when the poor guy after retirement goes almost pauper and depends on his monthly ‘pension’ or some benefits from his investment (if it is so). Maugham W. Somerset as very precisely said that:
“Money is like a Sixth sense without which you cannot make a complete use of the other five”.
But as they say: there is always a silver lining around the dark clouds. As a matter of fact change in daily routine provides you an opportunity to make contact with your inner self – or a retrospection, which you missed while in your active operational humbugs of the world. Your approach towards nature, reality and faith is entirely changed if you are endowed with maturity, intellect and cultural wealth and have never been greedy for mundane wealth and fame, which are commonly considered the greatest tools of allurement.
Miss Vasantha Valkunth, an Indian writer, in her article “Retirement: A Beautiful Experience” has depicted the plight of a retired person as under:-
“We are all actors playing our role on the cosmic stage to the Audience in a part and style approved by them. Some day the actors Have to retire from the routine patterns of life. We as people close to Real life have the mind and emotion to reset the stage to start a new Life.”
She further says that:-
“We need false flattery to sustain our pride and ego and start living in That unreal world. Retirement does not include false flattery in the Package. It is all about your position and how much you want to be Exploited. You come to terms with yourself when you retire from work and that self is free from superficial success. Retirement should Bring peace, maturity and willingness to serve the society and remain A role model for the future generation.”
A retired person expects nothing in heart but to be given attention, love and care. This is quite natural. When we expect these elements from others, we should find out that how much of that we have shown to them. The ground reality is that it is a ‘boomerang’ sort of exercise. With the decline of age graph we are haunted by the fear of death in one way or the other. But it is an unavoidable fate for each and every creation. The pleasure and peace of mind lies in a man of passion and wisdom. After retiring from a hectic busy life, his vision, sentiments and emotions are based on evenness and broader mental horizon. They remain in their natural selves and are not Enamored by the illusion of reputation, rank, property or wealth of any form. This quality of greatness is found in only a few select souls. They hate false Flattery to sustain their pride and ego.
However, despite so many bitter and sweet experiences, the boon of retirement is peace, tranquility and willingness to serve the humanity with Courage, commitment and smile on the one hand and to accomplish those assignments which one could not perform during the process of his busy humbug of his working life. The new path being adopted after retirement puts forth quite a new interpretation of the universe before you. So why not welcome it with smile, wishful joy and renewed vision putting aside the worries, sorrows and apathetic behaviour of friends and kith and kens. Because as per William Shakespeare:
“The web of our life is of a mingled yarn – good and ill together.”
M. S. Aarpan