Sunday, 3 September 2017

Searching of Self.

Young Israelis are leaving their high-paying technology job to "embrace a simpler, healthier lifestyle" and "in search of self."

Mr Goshen, a graduate of Israel's prestigious Technion Technological Institute, made that change to become a deliveryman for organic basket of fruits and vegetables because "his boss called him at home one evening and berated him for not devoting himself sufficiently to his work - even though he was putting in at least 50 hours a week."

At 37, Mr Goshen is married with three kids, but he is happy to have left his job. The stress is just unbearable. 

Another young employee, Mr Barkat, 29, left his lucrative management job in a financial information company to set up his own chocolate business. 

He said: "At age 24, I had achieved what adults spend their entire lives to achieve: steady, prestigious, well-paid work. But my work was very technical, boring, meaningless. I asked myself, "Where do I go now?"

Lesson? I wonder, what does one mean when he says that he is searching for self? 

In an article yesterday on stress of our students here, one eleven year old said: "I know studying is good for us. It is supposed to help train our brains. If we don't study, we will become mindless zombies walking around." 

I guess the search for self follows the same logic, that is, we will remain as mindless zombies walking aimlessly around if we have yet to settle down to know who we are, what we want to do and how we want to do it. 

But can our search for self be separated from the responsibilities that we carry with us as an employee, a husband and a parent? 

At some point in our life, in the normal run of things, we will find a job, get married and parent a child or two. Our life will follow that archetype script whether we like it or not. 

Quite unavoidably, there are a few transformative crossroads in life. When we pick up one end of the marital stick, we are bound to pick up the other end of spousal responsibility and parenthood. 

And when we pick up one end of the career stick, we are again bound to pick up the other end of sacrificing to make ends meet. 

What does the search for self mean then as a husband, father or a human being? Can the search be done separate and apart from our roles in society? 

Ultimately, we have to find fulfilment in whatever roles we play in family, work and society. We may not be wealthy or famous performing those roles but that is never the point or endgame, right? 

Surely, fulfilment has to be more than endless acquisition just so as to see who dies with the biggest toys to be displayed at one's wake right?

In the end, we have to come to a point to admit that there is a goldilock zone where our search for self finds contentment and fulfilment in our roles as a husband, father/mother and breadwinner. 

It will definitely be different for different individuals with different temperaments, ambition and personalities. 

We are all held accountable to ourselves and our loved ones to make the best use of our potential or gift and to pursue them within our means and abilities. 

Some will be wealthy pursuing their dream. Others will be less so fulfilling their roles. But the common thread in our search for self is not what we pile up exteriorly, but what we build within us, internally. 

So, finding ourselves within the roles we play in family and society is about being content in what we have achieved so far, investing in ways to improve ourselves, fortifying our character against temptations, holding on to values beyond the superficial and giving what we can to assist another in his or her own path of growth and success. 

And in all that, rejoicing in hope, faith and gratitude.

Such journey takes a lifetime, and the difference it makes usually lasts a lifetime. Cheerz.

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