Sunday, February 10, 2008

Kahlil Gibran - The Prophet - Chapter 7

“…to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life’s procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.”

Our society is a working society, and if one does not work, they are a stranger to that society. To work is to be human. To be human is to work.

If we did not work, if we were idle, what purpose would we have to get through the long days? What would motivate us to wake-up in the mornings?

I know sometimes it is a struggle to wake-up and face a work day. I go through this often, in fact. It is especially difficult to go to work during an episode of depression, as what is lacking most is motivation to even get out of the bed. Yet, if I did not work, who would I be? If someone asked me, “What do you do?”, what would I tell them? So, to continue to contribute to society and do my part, I go to work. Sometimes I shudder to think I have more than 30 years left of this, but that is my lot in life, as it is everyone else’s. I’ve had daydreams of having enough money to modestly live on so that I wouldn’t have to work, and instead have time to read, swim, socialize with the pets and family, gain more knowledge and wisdom, educate myself further and just enjoy life. Wouldn’t it be nice?

To hear chapters one through six, visit my podcast blog: http://sophiaw.podbean.com/

22 comments:

Suze said...

Sophia,

I am in transition myself. One of the things I need to decide is what my livelihood is going to be. How can I best contribute to this life using that which is particular to me to its fullest. I am working out the answer. It will probably be an approximation.

I wonder if you could use your writing as your livelihood. You certainly seem to put your love into it.

Vincent said...

Bless you for putting up this post. Actually I do not work at present, and since i am past retirement age, there is no reason to be ashamed of it. But i am restless sometimes. My life is enviably free of compulsion but I always have the motivation to get out of bed!

Yes, it would be nice if you could do what you wanted instead of going to work, but you would find it more challenging, in several ways harder.

I can't resist arguing with Gibran though. Idleness is a way to become intimate with the seasons. When you are working in today's world, you can easily lose touch with the seasons, as you commute to work in a car and spend most of your days indoors. Idle, I go on buses, go walking in the countryside, potter in my tiny backyard . . .

Even then, I'm unable to see all the transformation that the seasons bring. In spring, blossoms and flowers suddenly burst forth before I even knew they were in bud. It's almost impossible to keep up with the busyness of nature, but idleness does help greatly!

Siegfried said...

I can't afford to be idle at present. I'm always working on myself. Especially my image. Not forgetting to keep my body powerful and agile. I sometimes forget the more important things like my "paperwork".
Last week I bought new clothes including some new jackets. I've been wearing clothes that are more than ten years old, mostly of heavy material, jeans. I acquired dark army-type wardrobe to give me some air of authority. And matching black boots.
I might buy some more for my two boys soon. I'm thinking of pilot jackets.

Siegfried said...

I also bought ten DVD's for 10 euros. Nice titles: Seven years in ..., Love's Labor's ..., The Count of ..., Conrad's The Secret ..., Sleep with ..., Rebel, The Jigsaw ..., King's Needful ..., A Girl ..., Operation .....
But no time to see any of them. I hope to buy some more.
And some second-hand books: Harris' Hannibal, Oxford Book of Light ..., Neruda's poems in Spanish, Antiek als hobby, Vliegers maken, Als m'n tante een snor had, Dit Boek lost uw Geld problemen op (This Book will solve your Financial problems). No time to read.

Sophia said...

Hi Suze,

What ideas have you had so far in trying to decide what your livelihood will be? I am sure that if you're putting your heart into the thinking, you'll make the choice that's best for you, and you'll be happy with that choice.

Thank you for the compliment on my writing. :)

Sophia said...

Hi Dear Vincent,

Yes, indeed I do envy your living your retirement. You've already put-in your time, and now it's paid off. How lucky you are!

I must say, I am drawn towards agreeing with your point of view. Sitting in a cubicle, in a windowless world, I miss the rising of the sun in the morning. I lose touch with the morning and the day. I miss the rays of the sun, and the pink and orange hues of the sky in the morning as the sun wakes up. If I wasn't working, who knows, I might become a gardener, planting beautiful flowers here and there in the yard, and maybe even spend some time looking for four-leaf clovers. :)

But then reality sets in... what would this world be like if no one had to work? We'd not have grocery stores to go shopping in. We'd probably be working anyway hunting for our food. So in this life, anyway, all I can do is envy the lives of either the rich or the retired. If I live long enough, I'll be there someday.

Sophia said...

Siegfried,

What exercises do you do to keep your body looking powerful and agile? If I'm not mistaken, I seem to remember you were involved in either Jujitsu or Aikido. There was a small video on your blog not too long ago of some martial artists. Was it a video of you? Had you had comments turned on (hint, hint) I'd have been able to ask you earlier!

I hope you find some time to watch your movies and read. I especially liked "Seven Years in Tibet".

Vincent said...

Yes, but Sophia, please don't wish your life away! I miss having a job, though I would try to avoid another windowless cubicle. And I am currently looking for one.

Siegfried, you wonderful example of strident youth and male humanity, if you do get the chance to watch the DVDs you bought, could you give us a report---preferably a detailed review---of your impressions ofThe Secret Agent? Thanks in advance. You have boys?

Siegfried said...

Sophia,
Yes, that was me in a gi and an hakama in action. I still look the same. But now I think I am gaining weight because I can't help eating a lot. I seem to be losing my sex appeal too. ;>)
Well, sometimes I feel young girls want me having shoulder-length hair and a bit girlish or boyish in appearance and style. It disarms them. It takes a while before my hair is grown long enough.
Well, I do a lot of centering exercises, shadow boxing and free dancing alone at home just to keep myself warm. This afternoon some guys asked me to do again the beautiful jump I did in the morning. I wasn't even aware of it. Some little things I do to keep boredom away. Actually what they don't know is that it was a very simple jump, except for one small detail that people don't notice or see because they are looking at the total jump.

Siegfried said...

Vincent,
I'll do my best. It may take a while.
I found a link to the Librivox recording of The Secret Agent at the Internet Archives. I hope to read it first.
I have two teenage boys. Chips of the old block.

Sophia said...

Vincent,

You're currently looking for a job in a windowless cubicle?

Sophia said...

Siegfried,

You're so cute. :)

This is a nosy question, but what is it you are most looking for... wild hot passionate sex or true love? Something tells me you are really looking for true love. You want to be loved until the flesh drops off your bones, and after, too.

What kind of jump did you do? Is it a martial arts jump? Maybe you are the magician of jumping.

I can do a jumping jack. But that's about it. :)

Vincent said...

I meant I am looking for a job, and trying to avoid a windowless cubicle.

Till yesterday I had always kept at the back of my mind the possibility that if all else failed, to keep out of debt I could go and work in B&Q, a chain of DIY stores where they sell paint, tools, timber and so forth in a vast warehouse and adjoining yard. They have a policy to employ the older person, especially men with lifetime of practical experience of projects in home and garden, who can advise and reassure customers.

That possibility is now in the "over my dead body" category. I went looking for something there yesterday and realized I wouldn't last an hour, even as a customer, with their blaring Muzak in every corner, their lighting, the tawdriness of some of their products (I'm speaking of poor taste rather than quality). And as an employee I would have to deal with customers and fellow-staff. Could I fit in? I don't think so.

A windowless cubicle might be hell, but we have to earn our bread somehow!

Siegfried said...

Sophia,
I'm looking for both. But passionate love will do.
I want to show the woman I love what I can do. ;>)
Actually, maybe I am looking for a daughter or daughters. But I don't have that much money. So I can't support too many of them.
Today was really my lucky day. I saw this beautiful young girl again. She's almost 6 foot tall, not too skinny. I think she noticed my big interest inspite of my little shyness. And I didn't forget to look into her eyes. Her pupils actually dilated.
I bought three new jackets. Exactly what I wanted to have. For the spring. They all look the same except for the colors: khaki, forest-green and army-gray. I had to have an excuse to give her for buying too many. So I told her I was wearing clothes that were more than ten years old. And that I needed a new wardrobe. She was very impressed; she told me I'm exactly just like his father.
Then I saw this girl again; everything about her is round but is not overweight. We looked into each others eyes deliberately. We hadn't seen each other for a while.
And then I saw this very young girl again on my way home. She recognized me right away and said hello before I could say hi. I seemed to be at the back of her head. She must have been thinking of me all the time since we saw each other months ago.
I must be dreaming.
Oh, about the jump. It's just like a low flying kick. I learned it from my pretty ballet teacher along time ago. She used to danced for the National Ballet back home but gave up because it was too competitive; she felt she wasn't good enough.

Sophia said...

Vincent,

Whew... I'm relieved. I thought you were saying that you were looking for a windowless cubicle! You had me worried for a moment. I couldn't wish that on my worst enemy.

It doesn't sound like the B&Q is for you. If you were to follow your heart, what would you do if there were no limits?

Sophia said...

Siegfried,

Some women look for father figures, so it would only seem natural that some men look for daughter figures.

Money isn't that important. If you end up with someone that only wants your financial support, I'll be disappointed! The best kind of support is the kind that comes from the heart, like the kind you see on this blog from so many people that comment, including yourself.

Since 2005 I've heard you mention looking into people's eyes. Now I know why your profile photo is a photo of your eyes. When you look into someone's eyes, what is it you look for? Maybe you're looking for someone to meet your eyes and not be afraid to hold onto them with their own. Sometimes those long glances mean something special.

Vincent said...

Sophia, you asked what I would do to follow my heart if there were no limits.

My answer may surprise you. I would like to be a servant. A private secretary of someone very cultivated and busy, but who only needed me sometimes. He/she would pay me a retainer salary and I would do all kinds of odd jobs--- clerical, administrative, creative, manual---& humbly offer advice where requested or necessary. Average workload 15 hours a week at fixed salary £100 per week (US$200), which is a little over the statutory minimum wage. More would be nice obviously, then I could travel sometimes.

Sophia said...

Vincent,

I'm not surprised, actually. You are a servant to mankind with your thoughtfulness, selflessness and kindness. To follow suit in a career would only seem natural. :) I admire your goals.

Vincent said...

In answering your question publicly about what my ideal job would be I was "sending a message to the Universe" (theory is that once you know what you want and declare it, you are preparing to receive it).

Today I received a phone call offering me work at 2 days per week as quality manager to a smallish organization where I once worked. The Universe answers quickly sometimes! The position would involve reporting to the CEO and being sensitive to his wishes, so it's pretty close to that "servant" role I envisaged.

Sophia said...

Hi Vincent,

Maybe you'll prove to me yet that this Law of Attraction thing works. Congratulations on the job offer! Are you going to accept?

Vincent said...

Well the Cosmic Ordering thing does work. I have accepted, but it is at an early stage. It was to see if I would be interested, and I said yes. there will doubtless be interviews etc.

But you have to play the game lightly, as it works by what I call "signs". One request I sent out was for a very local job, within my preferred set of skills. A day or so later, a friend told me of a place very nearby where they were looking for someone. As the crow flies, it's an office 100 yards away. I went for the interview but the salary was absurdly low (hardly above minimum wage) and they wanted me to work 38 hours a week on their premises. It wasn't an answer, but it was a sign, as it were to tell me that my request can be answered easily.

There are two books called "The Cosmic Ordering Service" that I know of. If met the author of one of them: he's the most prosperous astrologer in the UK. Which doesn't mean that there is anything in astrology of course. I think the other book is better - by a female author. I haven't bothered reading either of them. Glanced through in a bookshop and said to myself, "Yes, this is more or less what i do already."

I don't necessarily believe in any law of attraction. All I know is what has happened to me.

Sophia said...

Vincent,

I'll keep you in my thoughts and send them out to the Universe that you may get this job!

I'm happy for you. But won't this mean less time for blogging? :(