also Discipline

“Up and at ’em.”  That’s right. Another day’s work is in front on you:  Tend the crops, make something, fix something, sell something. You do what you do to survive. Oh joy!  The lady on the radio just reminded you that today is Thursday, only one more ‘work’ day left. She is certain that you cannot wait ‘til the ‘work week’ is over. Is she correct? Do you count the days putting in your hours? Do you ‘live’ for the weekends? This incentive spurring you on? Or are you satisfied with your lot in life? Pleased with the work you do.

When you were young you were blind to what lay ahead. You had your dreams. You were optimistic, filled with ambition. But gradually your naiveté was supplanted by practical necessities:  you must acquire skills and an education, eventually find employment. Then came responsibilities and concessions:  abandon lofty goals, find security with a company, relocate. You had to make decisions that were not quite in accordance with your plans. But you did what you had to do. And now you toil each day wondering. Are you on the right track? Relatively happy? Prosperous? With good prospects? A future that looks promising? You have learned that life is filled with compromises. Nothing you thought of doing is what you thought it would be.

Do you now identify with your ‘job’? Does your work define you? Doctor, plumber, teacher, farmer … is this what you truly are? Do you want everyone to think of you as a ……? Are you proud of this identity? Gain some respect from it? Do you socialize primarily with people in your field? Feel a little out of place with those who do not ‘speak your language’? Maybe you lack patience with those who live in ignorance of your ‘world’. Even ‘look down’ on them … these lesser mortals. Pride certainly elevates you, makes you feel good about yourself.

Another self-delusion you can fall prey to is the feeling you have ‘arrived’, that your work is your primary accomplishment and other than a few hobbies or sports activities, you do not need to strive, to gain knowledge and skills in other areas. Amazing how many high school and college graduates never read or open themselves up to other serious pursuits. So many ways to participate in the world:  Volunteering, educating, caring for animals, for the environment. Just to name a few. Remember YOU NEVER ARRIVE. You can always grow, learn more, appreciate more and expand your awareness’s in the process. This is very important. Whether or not you love your job or cannot wait ‘til Friday, you have worlds waiting for you to ‘discover’. And the more you appreciate these worlds the less myopic and xenophobic you will be. No one and no human activity will be a stranger to you. You will embrace the world more closely. You will love more.



©2007-2008 Edwin O'Shea and All or part of only one topic, including all definitions and essay, may be used without written permission. Please see full copyright notice on home page.