Mr Lee Kuan Yew (LKY), the first Prime Minister of Singapore had been a well-known person who spent all his years contributing to the success of Singapore.
On 23 March 2015, Lee Kuan Yew died of pneumonia, at 91 and there are 5 lessons he would like to pass down to his ‘kids’ (or to all his citizens):
Lesson #1: Love what you do, and it’ll never be work
LKY’s passion for Singapore is legendary. Mr Lee underwent balloon angioplasty to insert a stent. When he regained consciousness and could sit up in bed, he asked his security team to ask them to pass him the ‘red box’.
The red box contained correspondence and notes on whatever Mr Lee was working on at the moment.
Lesson #2: Keep on learning
Do you know what LKY was doing on his 91st birthday on 16 September’14? Getting ready for his Chinese lessons.
Even at his old age, he still lives the passion of learning…
Lesson #3: It’s never too late to start
Mr Lee started learning Chinese in earnest only when he was 32 years old. He did this to reach out to Mandarin-speaking voters and that year, made his first speech in Mandarin. It was “the most taxing speech I ever made in my life,” he said.
Even in the later years, when his health did not permit for lessons to be held as frequently, he never completely gave them up. Sometimes, when he got tired, he would ask to rest for 30 minutes before resuming the lesson.”
Lesson #4: Make time to play and exercise
In his 50s, his daughter introduced him to aerobics. He also started jogging.
As Richard Hu, who served as Finance Minister from 1985 to 2001 recalled: “Mr Lee was a health nut. He would swim or cycle daily and kept telling me during our lunches that I should be exercising to keep fit, so I would last longer.”
All that exercise paid off. At the age of 89, Mr Lee can sit up and do not need a walking stick.