Finding Meaning Through Selfless Living in the New Year
I’m really concerned as we approach this New Year about the negative force field that seems prevalent around as I observe situations in my country. I understand this is a time of reflection and stock taking. While people can pretend happiness, the truth is that most feel life sucks. The platitudes that console our inner confusion only serve to create more confusion.
As I go about my daily routine, the sights I see drive me to philosophy. On the road, I see men and women in suits and ties, some running to the bus stop to catch a bus, some in their cars wading through the traffic hustling for survival.
Experience tells me a very large percentage of this people are dissatisfied with their jobs, their businesses and with life altogether. I could have been quick to conclude this is because of the harsh economic conditions and dilapidated infrastructures we confront as a third world nation. But a quick review of the global news confronts my assumptions. This sense of dissatisfaction and frustration is global. Divorce rate only point up, death tolls are on the increase, global peace is becoming elusive, and nothing seems worthwhile.
In the midst of all these, we have not been able to quit our search for meaning and significance. In furious hope, we look to relationship, jobs or businesses that we can deploy our resources in the hope of getting something of eternal value back in return. Yet life sucks and we wonder why we are even living. Motivational speaking has become lucrative because people need to be talked back into life, business or work. We all feel caught up in a rat race; we sacrifice the sacred for the mundane, sacrifice time with those who love us in pursuit of money, fame and power only to realize another deeper sense of dissatisfaction after their attainment. We found we have sacrificed what we want for what we really need.
With a lot of knowledge surrounding us and devices that mock time and distance, yet life still sucks. We still lack the wit to figure out life, joy and peace. Numerous disasters and mourning of those we love arrest us but our quest for our own survival numbs the pain and the wisdom of death emerges.
I will begin this probing with myself – if life sucks then why live it? I live life because I perceive it to be a gift from God. I live life because it offers me opportunity to learn, grow and most importantly to give. I quit being a rat many years ago and exited the race. I’m a fulfilled man engaged in search of how I can make life better for the next man. I have found peace, love and joy because I give them out on a daily basis. At the risk of boasting, I don’t have all that I want but I have enough to make sense to myself on a daily basis.
Why do I work? I work because I was placed here with specific gifts and talents to synergize with other well meaning people and to contribute in making the world a better place.I believe in working to give. I believe in giving we find and even in losing we gain. Fulfillment is found in this one word – selflessness. True vision is found on selflessness. It is through the spirit of selflessness that we soar.
Selflessness is really the way to life. We admire the men and women who have led sacrificial lives, confronted death for the sake of a cause bigger than themselves. The lesson for us is that we can’t work or do business for our own personal comfort alone. This way, life sucks. But if we give our skills, resources, time, money and energy to the cause of humanity, we dream and seek passionately to expand the world, we expend ourselves in pursuit of a noble vision, we love and respect every person we meet, we empathize and demonstrate loyalty, then, life is worth living.
What we take is temporal and fleeting but what we give truly last. For this, life becomes great, fantastic and meaningful. I wish you a great new year.