English Teachers Are Happy To Share

English Teachers Are Happy To Share

Random Thoughts by Pauline

 June 24 2015  Wednesday         

 What does the number 40 mean to you?

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 () 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.