Thinking positively & finding joy in the little things
Having worked in the newspaper editorial industry for more than 40 years, after his retirement, Mr Ng had a desire to pursue his childhood interest and what he had always wanted to do. As many traditional Chinese schools in the past offered calligraphy, he first learned basic calligraphy in school at the age of 9. However, he did not have the chance to fully acquire the calligraphy skill as he did not continue his education thereafter.
In 2017, Mr Ng had decided to sign up for the NSA 3-month course, “Chinese Calligraphy Workshop” from Nanyang Technological University – Confucius Institute to enhance his calligraphy skill, making him one of our oldest National Silver Academy (NSA) participants. Not only did he get to practice writing Chinese characters with the fundamental rules of brushstrokes movement, he also got to understand the historical development of calligraphy and appreciate the exemplary works of the reputed calligraphers such as Liu Gongquan, Yan Zhengqing and Zhao Mengfu.
There was another underlying reason which made Mr Ng sign up for the course. “Being ethnically Chinese, it is essential for me to understand my roots and enrich myself in Chinese culture,” Mr Ng shared. This motivated Mr Ng to take up the course and he successfully received a certificate of completion in August 2017.
Mr Ng who is 82 years old this year, did not let age stop him from continuing to live and learn actively every day. Today, Mr Ng still practices calligraphy during his own free time as calligraphy has enabled him to keep a calm heart and peaceful mind.
An advocator of having a positive mindset
Mr Ng has been volunteering actively for the past five years, such as befriending seniors who lived alone and playing a part in organising events and activities for them. Whenever he meets up with friends whom are acquaintances from his volunteering stints, Mr Ng will motivate his friends to think positively, as he believes it’s important to change the negative perception and biases that many have towards ageing.
“Ultimately, our attitude is very important. A person with a positive mindset will be happy easily at the smallest things. Whether a person is truly happy or not, it all depends on one’s mindset. Some people are happier than others, and that’s because of their mindset,” Mr Ng says.
Besides the calligraphy course, Mr Ng has also taken NSA courses such as “Happy 50!” from YAH! College and “美丽与智慧” from Life Point. These courses had helped Mr Ng to shape a positive outlook on life and ageing, as well as understand his personal value as he entered retirement.
After recently completing his latest NSA course “长者如何撰写自传 (Autobiography Writing)”, Mr Ng is well on his way to writing his own autobiography to be published in the near future.
A jovial personality
With a positive mindset, Mr Ng is able to find joy in the little things in life, such as enjoying an affordable cup of coffee at a coffeeshop in his neighbourhood or occupying himself with various activities such as visiting art galleries, libraries, music concerts and attending talks. Besides being enthused in the arts, Mr Ng also takes good care of his health by frequently by doing Tai Chi.
“We have to expose ourselves to the outside world, it is not good for our health if we insist on staying at home all day long,” Mr Ng explained.
**Special thanks to Mr Ng Boon Hock who accepted our interview, we wish him all the very best in his lifelong learning journey.
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