Retirement
10 March, 2011
Retirement

Have you ever heard that Germany was the first country to introduce retirement in the 1880s? Personally for me it is a discovery that until the end of the 19th century mankind had no idea that a working man has to stop working when physical conditions or senility doesn’t allow the person to work any more.
Ideally, retirement should be fun – a lot of leisure, freedom of action, traveling at one’s own volition, taking care of hobbies, socializing with

friends and relatives, time to reminisce and giving part of yourself to your (or somebody else’s for that matter) grandchildren. This must all be awesome as it sounds, but the fact of recognition of desisting from the employment (especially if you had loved what you were doing for years) seems to be a little hard to digest. Frankly, I hate the entire idea of giving up work. I can’t help doing the stuff I had been educated for and for which I am still terribly qualified. I need to feel indispensable. I want to be sure that nobody can do what I am doing and the way I am doing it. Moreover, I want to continue making money for as long as I am breathing well enough to handle my job. Maybe semi-retirement could save the day! Retire, but stay on! No! This can’t work for me. I need to be busy and functioning full time, plus I have to be useful. Not that I want to work to just keep myself active. No! I have to be absolutely certain that I am doing a lot of good to individuals around and to the society on the whole. I need to be recognized and appreciated. If this is not happening, I feel dead, lying in casket and not moving. Is this very difficult to understand? This is what happiness is made of. Happiness will never be my lot unless I produce something usable. Period! Who has the right to keep away the sense of happiness from me? After all, Grandpa Aristotle has bequeathed to me that my only job in this world is to stay happy. Nothing else makes sense. Nothing! All I am doing (All!) is dedicated to my staying happy all the time. Well, if there are some unfortunate lapses, making me feel miserable, that is all in God’s hands, and I can’t defy the Lord’s will. Otherwise, I will never stop fighting for what I think could make me feel happy. And retirement is definitely getting in my way. Down with it! Retire if you want, but let me work please! Do I sound like a monster when I say that I want to be toiling away as long as I am alive? I might, but what argument do you have against my will and readiness to employ myself or be happily employed by others as long as I am physically and mentally fit to cope with the suggested work? Granted, some of us like to be retired, and I wish them well – those pension benefits are sweet and nice, I understand. Some are forced into retirement, and I can feel for them – what else if this is physical? Yes, the idea of retirement is a serious achievement of civilization, and the higher the civility, the higher the annuity, but staying functional seems to be one of the most effective engines generating happiness. And don’t try to convince me in the contrary – I have been through those arguments before.

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