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  • Peter Kam Fai Cheung SBS

The Main Takeaway


When he was a kid, our younger son impulsively took two baby tortoises as pets. As he has grown and developed other interests, my wife and I have become responsible for the well-being of the young tortoises. We moved them to a bigger home - a box-like container and let them do morning exercises in a larger enclosure - our bathroom floor.

The other day, I sought my family doctor's view on strategies to add years to life. "I've been doing exercises but that's time-consuming too; a friend of mine follows the tortoise model, ie not moving much should lead to longevity." Analyzing the paradoxes, my doctor said. "No, slow blood flow would clog."

"Our tortoises at home survive under adverse conditions." I observed. "There's a tortoise sanctuary at the hospital's roof top." My doctor remarked but quickly continued: "They're fed occasionally, and no one cares about them." I felt bad in hearing that. "But they can recognize their owners - one came forward when its owner wanted it again." I was enlightened.

"But I don't know if they're happy living in a confined space." I lamented. "Perhaps, they're!" My doctor pointed out my possible false assumption and eased my mental stress. "I'd better take good care of our tortoises then!" I spelt out the main takeaway. Since then, I have been seeing them crawling outside the box, or doing nothing inside it - happily!

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