I think one of the biggest revelations I’ve had in my more recent spiritual life is that the most powerful venue for connecting my spirituality with my material world is in my workplace, not in my home. Yes, at this point I still hold a traditional job. I don’t write to make money, I write because I feel compelled to.
Anyway, I think we don’t think enough about the impact our work life has on every other aspect of our lives. Our wages fund everything we do. Without my job, I wouldn’t have a safe, comfortable place to live in, reliable transportation, or food on the table. It has been said that we spend more time with our coworkers than our families, and for most of us that is unquestionably true.
Further, I think a great many of us are at least somewhat concerned about leaving some kind of legacy on the world. Yes, that means building a family and making friends, doing things which inspire or help others. But what about your coworkers? Clients? Customers?
Our workplaces are a vital venue for putting our spirituality to work. By this I don’t mean we should be working to convert our coworkers or using the workplace as a pulpit. I absolutely think that is inappropriate.
But as we spend more time and energy on our work than our hobbies or our families just by virtue of the importance of a paycheck, I think that’s the first place we should reevaluate when it comes to shaping a meaningful spiritual existence. If you feel called to help those in need, does that not include those at work who struggle to do well or need extra assistance? If you feel compelled to put more positive energy into the world, would it not be wise to start by making your job a more positive experience for yourself and those around you?
One of the things I feel compelled to do by my own spiritual philosophy is to inspire others to focus on their own personal improvement. As someone in a management position, what better venue could I hope to have for inspiring others? My spirituality shapes how I treat those who work for me and with me, what I teach them about reaching their goals and working with others. It shapes how I interact with customers and peers, employees and supervisors. Looking at my job as a smaller model of the rest of the universe has completely changed how I feel about going to work. I’m not just getting things done, I’m shaping my little piece of the world.
And it has nothing to do with trying to make those around me share my spiritual outlook. The best way to show others what you see as truth is to simply live that truth where others can see. And real truths for life will apply no matter what someone’s spiritual outlook is.
Besides, if our spirituality can’t help us find meaning in our work, what is it really doing for us?Tags: personal essay, religion, spirituality, work
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