To me, the number 40 signifies a turning
point! I was 40 going on 41 when my world tumbled down in a matter of three
months! The husband I wedded for 15 years eloped with the secretary. The school
I served for decades closed down. My son I treasured was hospitalized for acute
kidney failure. Those dark days were difficult but I survived! Life is never
the same! I have been exploring a new world with a new partner and achieving
unfamiliar successes. My son recovered steadily, went to Australia for his
university studies, returned, built a career and is now a married man with a
seven-year old daughter.
Many of my young friends around me develop
unknown fear as they turn 40. They begin to assess themselves comparing what
they have and not have with those of their peers. Then they feel belittled upon
discovering that their friends are doing better than they do. Somebody has a
bigger apartment. Another has a fancier car. Or, a couple others have made to
the top of their career!
This seems to be in contradiction with what
The Analects of Confucius (論語)
preaches: When you are 40, you no longer doubt. (四十而不惑). Maybe, it is only after re-assessing
and re-assuring oneself to find his bearings, can one then move on.
If you have time, browse the internet and
you will be amazed by all the interesting implications of this number. Just
take the Bible for instance. It has been calculated that this
number is used 98 times. Forty is used to indicate a long period of time such
as the 40 days of fast of Jesus Christ in the desert, the 40 days between the
Ascension and the Resurrection of Jesus and plenty more.