Education

Self-improvement in Work

Update: 28/03/2015
Human life lies within its duty process. Therefore, human dedication wholeheartedly is exactly Bodhisattva’s spirit.
 

Self-improvement in Work

 

It is often said, “There is the need of money right at the\r\nmoment we wake up”. In other words, if we have no money, we cannot do anything\r\nsuccessfully. Honorarium is the minimum condition for man\r\nto spend on everything to maintain his daily needs and thanks to this\r\nthat our activities themselves seem to be meaningful. Let’s think of this:laziness\r\nis not due to the work itself but to the potential obtrusion arisen during our\r\nwork and our contact with the related people. Formerly, the living environment\r\nin rural areas was so simple : labourers go to work in their field in\r\nthe morning and return to their home when the sun\r\nsets  -  the objects they got in touch with were nothing\r\nbut blue sky, white clouds, the ground, vegetables, rice plants as well\r\nas their domestic animals but not with various forms of human beings Now,\r\nin this market economy whatever we perform is managed by our superiors and\r\nbelow us are our subordinates, and numerous partners who work together with us.\r\n… Accordingly, we have to contact with every type of people in the world. And\r\neven we do not have any superiors of ours, we have to go to and fro so as to\r\ncommunicate with all kinds of people  -  with our\r\ncustomers or with the governmental agencies which manage us. It is due to such\r\ndaily extremely complicated contacts that we have to cope with what we often\r\nfeel our miserable life. That’s why we admire and thirst for previous people’s\r\nlife, wishing to contact plain and vegetation work instead of heady\r\nmatters as nowadays’ complicated ones.

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The reason for human present communications becomes contradictory\r\nis that each individual has his own way of thinking, different levels\r\nof education; conflicts, therefore, among individuals are hard\r\nto avoid. You may think that others bring inconveniences to you while you\r\nneglect the same thing you cause to others and so you feel powerless while\r\nothers feel the same! Isn’t this a justice and indispensable thing?

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No matter what type of career you are pursuing, it means\r\nthat you are contributing your humble part to the functioning of your social\r\nmachine. It really does not mean that you perform it for a salary that keeps\r\nyou to live on. Instead, it has another great\r\nmeaning  - everybody is making their life meaningful and\r\ncontributing their small part to a perfect life. It just needs our close\r\nobservation from our meal eating, sleeping, rest taking and traffic taking part\r\nas well as all other sources of our life then we can reveal that those\r\nactivities are waving a network in which each of us has his own duty allocated\r\nby our society. Phenomenologically, these duties seem to be in separation. But\r\nthey really are the links of a chain which are closely related to one another.\r\nIt is thanked to this that the rotation in their supply-and-demand relationship\r\nis still harmonious and regular. It is also thanked to such an individual\r\ndiligence and industriousness that we may obtain a living\r\nenvironment and condition as that in the present.

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It is because of this that in a labor-assigned society as\r\nours, everybody helps one another. In other words, not a single individual can\r\nrely on himself. Whatever kind of labour he may\r\nhave  -  whether with salary or not  -  it\r\nonly needs a labourer who does not participate in production then he himself\r\nhas become a burden to his society. In the business co-operation relationship\r\namong human beings, we are a factor that creates the network of the society\r\nthat contributes a small part known as the link of such a chain. Therefore, if\r\na person who does not work or who just indulges in dissipation is synonymous\r\nwith the one who sneaks away from his social duty.

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In the process of collective work, there are people who\r\nhave full capability, intelligence and professional skills but just receive a\r\nsalary equal to those who are weaker than themselves. Phenomenologically, those\r\nwith full capabilities spend much labour but receive less compensation..\r\nAccordingly, there seems to be a social injustice. But, in another aspect,\r\nit is a way of creating a blessing for them, for others because it is\r\nconsidered a favourable condition to join in wedlock with those who are less\r\nfortunate. Those who are with full capacities join in wedlock with those who\r\nare ‘weaker’ - isn’t it the manifestation of the spirit of a\r\nBodhisattva?

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Hence, we should change our way of recognition and\r\nevaluation of matters. Only in such a way, can we have an easy feeling, a calm\r\nheart, or we no longer compare the advantages and disadvantages of anything.\r\nSuppose a person who does not want to perform the merits and virtues of a\r\nBodhisattva; instead, he just wants to do a little more about something good.\r\nIn this way, such a person has put a little more in his\r\ncelestial, human, Buddhist and Bodhisattva’s bank account in comparison to\r\nothers. The more you put something else in one of those meritorious banks, the\r\nmore blessed rewards you can obtain. And this is one of the ways you can reap\r\nfrom your labour process!

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As such, human beings living in their society need\r\nceaselessly to improve themselves, be dedicated themselves to serve their\r\nsociety and this is the true meaning of labour. We just need the opportunity to\r\nmake a contribution from our small part then we should be\r\ndelighted to do it and at the same time consider it our happiness. Building the\r\nspirit of work aiming at serving and devoting will help us dispel the feeling\r\nof discourage towards labour and position. And thanks to this, we see that our\r\nlife is more meaningful. Thence, we see that work is the very happiness of ours\r\nand the real meaning of our existence.

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Giving more than receiving means that you are creating\r\nblessings for yourself and for others. It is the method of sowing a good\r\npredestined affinity so as to closely connect you with everybody. A person with\r\nfull capacity connected with everybody in an attempt to\r\ncontribute himself to his society is really the merits and virtues of a\r\nBodhisattva  then.-

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Superior Monk Thich Thanh Nghiem.

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Translated into English by Mr. Hoang Huan, layman.

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