Friday, October 21, 2011

Jobs not only bestow money and power, they also make for wisdom and learning

# POST 0023

Unable to bear his poverty, a priest went to the temple and begged the deity there for a solution. That night the deity left a golden pot in the courtyard of the priest's house. The priest found the golden pot with some water in it. He threw the water out and went to the market where he sold the pot to a merchant. With the money he received, he repaid all his debts and returned home a rich man laden with gifts for his family. Soon after, his family fought over the vast wealth, everyone from his wife to his children to his parents and his siblings demanding their share. 

Unable to bear the mental agony, the priest went back to the temple and complained to the deity. "You have added to my problem not solved it with the golden pot". And deity said, "Golden pot? What golden pot? I gave you the elixir of contentment, enough for you and your family. It happened to be contained in a golden pot. Did you not drink it?" 

Every job is a golden container full of water. The pot is the salary that pays our bills and the designation that pleases our desire to feel significant. But in each job is potentially the opportunity to grow intellectually and emotionally. Each job contains the seed of learning that can germinate in our mind, if we allow it to. Unfortunately, jobs are seen more in economic terms (the pot) than in learning terms (the water). 

Animals work for survival. Humans are the only animals who also work for meaning. Hence in Sanskrit, the same word, artha, is used to indicate economics, politics and meaning. Jobs can give us money and power (the pot) but they can also give us wisdom (the water). Do we drink the water? 

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