The ox never gives up.

January 25, 2009

The ox never gives up

For those of you who may suffer reversals, take heart that there are many others like you.

In Chinese astrology, the ox is a working animal. To put it not so decorously, it’s a beast of burden. People born in ox years are said to be strong and hardy and put muscle into whatever it is they do. Oxen are also stubborn. Or, if you will, tenacious creatures which never give up on their tasks and objectives. True to form, everybody would expect this particular Year of the Ox, opening tomorrow, as a year of hard work and fortitude and a test of wills. In this Ox year more than previous ones in 12-year cycles, fortitude is one quality that will be asked of everybody in a trying year.

The growth estimate has been revised again to a range of between minus 2 and minus 5 per cent. By the third quarter of last year, there were 67,200 people unemployed. Layoffs will grow. Despite government efforts made via the Budget to save jobs and keep businesses afloat, there will be individual tales of woe aplenty in the coming Ox cycle.

For those of you who may suffer reversals, take heart that there are many others like you. Do not be defeated by the change in circumstances. It is not how badly things turn out for you so much as how you respond to them that is important.

For bad times are a test of wills, and how you hold up will be a measure of your fortitude and resilience. Seek new opportunities and lower your expectations. Upgrade yourself. Be tenacious in spirit and never give up. Be like an ox, as it were.

As Chinese Singaporean families sit down to their reunion dinner tonight, on the eve of the Chinese New Year, they should not dwell on the doom and gloom but reflect on their non-material blessings.

There is more to the fulfilling life than just money and acquisitions. What will endure are family kinship and relationships with friends. Cherish them. They are even more important in uncertain times. They will help keep you afloat when the tide turns against you.


(The Straits Times, Singapore)


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