Something was bothering me at work for quite some time – the way things were going between my coworker and me. Because of my spiritual practice I’ve been able to balance it out from time to time. I was also reminded of a Tibetan Wisdom:
You either accept the situation as it is
Or you try to fix it
Or get out of it.
Hmmm… I went to discuss this work issue with my senior manager – a very kind-hearted man who always enjoys my happy smile. Today I wasn’t that happy, but still, when I walked into his office I was very happy to see him; we exchanged our greetings. Pretty soon he started talking about his retirement. I was a bit confused at the beginning but quickly realized he needed to vent a bit, and one of my roles is to be a good listener. In my head I tucked away my agenda and opened my heart to listen to him.
He has another five to six years to become eligible for Medicare. He was mentally ready to relocate to the mid-west with his wife to cut down their cost of living. Having paid off his mortgage he felt light, but still, he was worried about his taxes and medical insurance at the point when his income ceased. As I was hearing this, I mentioned how my father, who lives in India, got an incremental raise in his pension after turning 80, and now he has the capacity to support 2 more people! We both laughed at the state of our lives.
But the one thing that bothered me more than the financial concerns was when he mentioned, “I guess after retirement we all just wait to die; if people don’t have a purpose they die soon.” When our meeting ended and I returned to my desk, guess what? The issue between my coworker and me seemed trivial. Later that night I was brooding over the conversation and was again struck with his words “we wait to die“.
As a spiritual aspirant, death to me is a bridge – a connector, not a terminator. Life itself is a school for experience and growth. Will I also worry like that in my later years? I don’t want to, and I don’t think I will. But what about the rest of the beings around me – why this fear? Is it the misunderstanding of our existence? Why am I here and what is my existence all about? If we never understand things on a deeper level, will our time on Earth be 100% waste?
So, what is the practical solution?
For sure I am not going to attempt to “fix the system,” as there is really nothing external to be fixed. It starts with each of us – our internal beliefs, experiences and understanding. Each one of us has a unique agenda and a road map to follow. The one who has figured it out lives in Peace and Serenity.
There is no one solution for all.
It seems these days that there are a rather small number of “acceptable” mainstream lifestyles. 99% of the population squeeze themselves to fit into one of them, leading a miserable unfulfilled life – essentially shedding their wonderful uniqueness in order to conform.
This reinforced my belief of why individuals really need to PAUSE and begin self-examination – try to go deeper inside to figure things out. What is my purpose, what makes me complete? I believe the answer is INSIDE each of us; the problem, of course, is our lack of acceptance and lack of willingness to make a BOLD change in order to really LIVE, instead of just waiting to Die…….
Which do you choose?