In our quest for a purposeful life, we are often drawn towards service to others. The notion of helping to make the world a better place resonates deeply within us, reflecting a sense of duty that transcends the physicality of our existence. It's a manifestation of the philosophy of Ikigai, an ancient Japanese concept that suggests the intersection of what we love, what we are good at, what the world needs, and what we can be paid for is where we find our reason for being.
From this perspective, my work can be seen as a reflection of my Ikigai, a harmonious balance of my passions, skills, societal contributions, and the recognition of their worth. But why do I work this way, and why is service to others so integral to my purpose?
The answers can be found in the wisdom of two of my spiritual teachers, Peace Pilgrim and Baba Amate among others, who dedicated their lives to the service of others and the pursuit of peace and harmony.
Peace Pilgrim, an American spiritual teacher, once said, "When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others." The essence of this quote lies in the understanding that the journey towards making the world a better place begins with our inner transformation. Our work, regardless of its nature, becomes an external expression of this internal peace.
By focusing on cultivating peace within ourselves, we naturally inspire and uplift those around us, indirectly contributing to a more harmonious world. This becomes the lens through which we view our work: not as a means to an end, but as an ongoing journey of self-discovery and service to others.
Baba Amate, a figure known for his selfless service and profound wisdom, offered a similar perspective: "Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth." His words suggest that our existence on this planet, our 'room here on earth,' is not merely about personal gratification or survival but about contributing to the collective good.
When we integrate this perspective into our work, it becomes a vehicle for service, a means to pay our 'rent' through our contributions to society. In this way, our work becomes less about what we can gain and more about what we can give.
This philosophy aligns perfectly with the concept of Ikigai. When we view our work as service, we are not only fulfilling our personal passions and utilizing our skills but also addressing what the world needs. It's a fulfilling cycle that not only provides us with a sense of purpose but also contributes to the collective well-being.
Working this way, in service to others, is not only an act of kindness and generosity; it's a profound expression of our deepest human potential. It is a realization that our work can be more than a job; it can be a calling, a mission, an Ikigai.
Therefore, as we continue to navigate the journey of life and work, let's take a moment to reflect on these words of wisdom. Let's strive to find peace within ourselves, understand our role in the larger picture, and align our work with the service to others. In this way, we won't just be making a living; we'll be making a difference, helping to make the world a better place one day at a time.
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