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Monday, December 13, 2010

Becoming a Blessing to Others...

I remember my friends, in the rat-race (employment, they call it), who forcibly and painstakingly drag their feet to work each morning. It’s just that the office environment saps all the energy from them, reducing them to a mere piece of instrument, with no emotions, to be constantly exploited and abused by the powers that be; their superiors.

How can life be simple and quiet for them, when daily, these people are being mocked by the so-called “bosses” who professed themselves to be more “superior” than the rest (sadly, some of these bosses often term themselves so-called “religious´; part time, I’d say)? Isn’t this the dilemma many of us face daily? The paradox of life – need the money, must tolerate the cancer of the office.

When we are young sometime ago, we are taught by our parents, “Do good things. Don't do bad things.” We all know what this all means. But as many of us progress upwards in the rat-race world, we forget and get caught in the moment and choose unwisely. Instead of our lives being a blessing to others, we become a persecution to everyone else.

How simple and wonderful life can be if we could just remember this piece advice. Due to such forgetfulness or intent, many lives of our so-called subordinates may have taken a fatal twist, perhaps even families destroyed – simply due to our abusive exercise of powers delegated to us by virtue of the position and rank in office.

One wonders whether “bosses” can sleep well at night amidst their cancerous display of powers behind the camouflage of performance and profits – in the commercial world, they termed this as being “professional”. What is professionalism when we do not choose to see the goodness in others, do not want to be patient enough to bring out the best in others – do not play our part to make this world a little easier for others, a little better, lighten the burden…instead, many choose to play judge and condemn… How often do we keep going, on a daily basis, caught on the treadmill of deadlines without a hint of awareness of what is happening within or around us?

A great Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh (also a good friend of Thomas Merton) once said, "It is said that God has created man in his own image. But it may be that humankind has created God in the image of humankind." It is sad that humankind’s interpretation of God today has come to constitute the blatant abuse of power, material possessions, money, position, rank, status, injustice…and corruption.

At the end of the day, in all the simplicity and fragility of this short life, God is pure love and present in each one of our fellow human sister and brother. God is always present to us and in us. St Paul wrote in his First Letter to the Corinthians verse 13:7, “Love…bears all things…hopes all things, endures all things.”

I recall the words of Mother Teresa, the Blessed Catholic nun…

"People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."

"I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things."

Therefore, whether one is an employee or a “boss” of this world, we are all part of the same human race and we must always remember and ponder in the quietness of our hearts, the simple wisdom, “Do good things. Don't do bad things.” Life then, can become a more meaningful journey and we, in turn, become a blessing to others; our fellow pilgrims.

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