Zheng Xuehua, a 95 year old great-grandma, chose to work despite having children who can provide for her. The thin old lady is a common sight at 780 Woodlands Crescent coffee shop.
According to Shin Min Daily, Zheng came to Singapore with her husband 75 years ago from Fujian, China. She was only 20 when she came here. She then raised 7 children by herself when she was estranged from her husband years later.
She sold women’s clothes in the kampungs to support her children as a single parent. Zheng eventually retired but she got bored and that’s when she started working at coffee shops to save up for retirement.
Netizens were divided on the issue. Some said that Zheng is an inspiration for choosing to be independent at her age.
There are those who disagreed with her working because of her age and physical condition.
One called it ‘propaganda’, saying that elderly should not be working in their golden years.
And there are those who said that she’s probably working because she’s used to it.
Zheng claimed that she has 20 great grandchildren. She also said that her children offers to give her money but she refuses to accept it. She said that she understands that it’s tough for them to raise a family in today’s economic condition.
“The children want to give me money, but I refuse to accept. They also have their own families to support, which is not easy, so I want to support myself, do what I can, and be self-sufficient.”
Zheng insists on working for as long as her body allows her to because she’s used to the hard life. She said that it is her duty to bring up her children as a mother and she’s not expecting anything in return from them.
Reporter’s Opinions: Singapore’s hustle culture is what contributes to elderlies like her having the mentality that they need to constantly work because the concept of being idle is foreign to them.
I agree Singapore is an expensive place to live in and we have to work hard but the rat race is detrimental to one’s well being. The rat-race has been constantly drilled into our heads from when we were in school, that the idea of succeeding in life means that we have to chase our dreams and forget about resting.
But there is virtue in having idle moments in between, to catch a breather. It is okay to rest and allow ourselves to have a break. Elderlies like Zheng should be resting and spending time with her family at this point in her life.
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