I love the Aunties and Uncles of Singapore. I adore the term of endearment. Aunties and Uncles are the generic term used to describe the elderly. They are gender specific. Obviously. One would call an older taxi driver "Uncle". Or the sweet old lady who makes the tea in the office "Aunty". It is compassionate. It is respectful. It is said with tenderness and a warm regard. The term is very much connected to the Chinese value of family. Family is important to the Singaporeans. Really important.
The elderly are very precious to other family members. As are the children. So too are parents. Go out any Sunday Lunch or Dinner and you will see three generations of Singaporean families eating together. They are laughing. They are enjoying each other's company. Bringing the family together is an important moment that is regularly celebrated.
All the time.
Not just once a year like we Westerners do.
We Westerners should take note of this. We should heed the importance of family. We should consider the significance of respect. For the elderly. Singaporean families are sustained by their love for each other. Many of these Aunties and Uncles are very old. They are very fit. They are well preserved. I am sure that love plays a great part in this. And Respect. My very good friend See Min - an Uncle himself - told me that his elderly mother started walking 5 kilometers a day when she was 78. She is 86 now and her family don't know where the fuck she is. Somewhere on the island they think. They know she is around. She calls in regularly. And Singapore is not very big.
No family is of course perfect. Not even here in Singapore. None of us should fear not acquiring a state of perfection. Heed that Singaporeans. None of us will actually obtain it. Ever. Try as we might. And there is nothing that can drive us more crazy than family. They can exasperate us. They do. Yet we can't give them back. And at the end of the day they make us secure. When the going get's tough - as it often does, they are the ones who we turn to.
They are always there for us.
Wow. A monster storm is raging outside. It is a pleasant distraction. It is a tempest. Lightning is streaking the sky. It looks bruised. Thunder is a constant rumbling as the clouds slap together. It is dark outside. Really dark. The rain is torrential. It is bucketing down. The Big Boy upstairs isn't happy. He is letting us know. I love the storms here in Singapore. They break the calm of the place. They remind me that there is Madness in the world. There is Chaos. I find this strangely comforting.
However. Anyway. As I was saying. I think that we are most definitely formed by our desires and we are certainly shaped by our experiences. But it all begins and ends with family.
I am going home tomorrow. To my family. Back in Australia. I miss them very much. All of them.
I can't wait to see them again.