Rumi said “Prayers are not enough. You must do something. You have three companions. The first “companion” are your possessions. They will not leave home for you, even if your life is in danger. The second companion is your good friend, who will at least come to your funeral, stand there talking, and then go home and get on with his life. Your third companion is your work, which goes with you into your grave to help you. Ensure that you are very familiar with your work before you die.”
Most people who read or hear this probably grew up in a sick culture where you have to work until you spend your life blood, so that you can pay your taxes (every single version and variety of taxes) and buy possessions to make your life easier.
The last thing on most people’s minds is to live their passion and work hard so that they can leave a legacy and at the end of their days say with pride that that they lived their passion and left the world a better place.
Over the past few years many people have lost their jobs. This has happened to me due to retrenchment and contracts ending many times in my career. The retrenchments were unplanned, but the contract ends were always expected due to the career choices I made which resulted in me choosing to do contract work. I am familiar with the insecurity of not having an income and needing to find a way to earn.
I have always found a way.
I have also been fortunate in that I was able to choose how to earn my living. I was able to apply my mind in a field that I enjoyed working in. At the same time, I was able to pursue my spiritual interests to the point where this is now not only my life-long passion, but my main source of income.
Against that background, I will again say what I have said many times in the past: when you lose your income, it is an opportunity to refocus rather than retreat. See it as a blessing rather than a punishment. We are now entering an age where we will be expected to live our passions, not just for ourselves, but for the benefit of humanity. Taxes will disappear, and we will no longer need to work for money.
What will you do if you don’t need to work for money? What if there is enough money to see you to your grave? What will you leave behind? What is your passion?
If you are one of the people who have lost your job, you have a choice. You can get into a spiral of self-pity and preach the end of the world, or you can pray and thank God for the opportunities you are given – even if you do not see the opportunities yet.
As Rumi reminds you: “Prayers are not enough. You must do something.” If you are not clear on what to do or what your passion is, I would suggest two courses of action. The first is daily meditation, where you listen after you have prayed. Listen unconditionally, because an attitude of “OK God, I have now prayed for work, and you had better deliver” will not get you far. Pray sincerely, and then meditate so that you will get your answer.
The second course of action is to do what your hand finds to do. Once you have tidied up your living space, go out and see what you can do for others. Who knows: one thing may lead to the next, and very soon you will find your passion. That will be so much more satisfying than sitting on a heap feeling sorry for yourself.