The world has been going through a perceived crises for some time now. Unemployment rates are high around the globe and here in the United States the economy and jobs have been a pressing issue for the last decade.
During last November's elections there was a cry, by some folks, to elect people who will help the "job creators" - whatever that means. Never overly specific as to how those jobs would be created, the proponents of the "job creators" always tend to believe that giving economic breaks to, and loosening government regulations on, businesses will ultimately create those elusive jobs. But, I have a better idea! I've mentioned this in class many times to my university business students.
Here it is: do away with ALL government regulations on businesses. They can pollute as much as they want, ruin our water, air, and ground, to whatever extent they choose. They can also pay whatever wages they want as well...minimum wage laws would be done away with, totally. Soon, people would be hired in droves.
Plus, because there would be so much pollution, new companies would be formed to clean up all the mess our now non-regulated businesses would create. Ah...entrepreneurial ingenuity! Employment would boom! There would probably be more jobs than people to fill them.
Of course, there are MAJOR drawbacks. No one would be able to breathe clean air and respiratory sicknesses would skyrocket even further than they are now (the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries would then...need more employees too), our water would be a mess and unhealthy to drink unless heavily filtered, the plants grown in our ground would be contaminated (as would be the ground itself), the animals that ate the plants would, most likely, become less healthy (including us), and our overall health rates would deteriorate quicker than they are today (the U.S. is ranked 51st among nations of the world in life expectancy).
It is very, very, unlikely that the cleaner-uppers would be able to make our environment clean enough to negate the constant pollution emitted by the messer-uppers. And - most of us, and our children, and their children, and their children, would have an extremely tough time existing in such an environment, let alone have the money to buy much more than basic necessities.
But...people would have their precious "jobs."
It is interesting to me that people put jobs on a higher pedestal than quality of life. To paraphrase a Native-American Chief who was addressing the "White Man" about work and jobs - his words are so very prophetic: "What is this thing you call work? Everything you need is right here."
So, be careful what you wish for, strive for, and desire. Unless you fully think it through and attempt to make sure that it enhances the quality of life for everyone (including, of course, yourself), and everything, on this Earth...it can wind up being the cause of your own demise.
Enlightenment is a word that has taken on layers of meanings. To the spiritualist it signifies a certain heightened awareness and insight of, and about, energy and the universe. To the scientist and intellectual (who may also be the spiritualist) it also connotes a higher level of knowledge, a thirst for examining the wondrous things around us, and a desire to cognitively dissect and explain why and how things exist and work.
Too often the word is not interpreted to its fullest extent. I recall a man reacting to a poster about enlightenment on a facebook post recently. He thought that it relayed a kind of unattainable spiritual hocus-pocus. It was nonsense to him. Of course...his narrow perspective (a common cause of ignorance in reference to any subject), created a prejudice towards the word and what it implied.
I have a different interpretation. To be enlightened is to be aware of things around you. To question and learn. To not take things at face value and mindlessly follow. To be on a constant quest to understand what life is and how it functions. To learn as much as one can while knowing there's always more. To be humble in one's recognition of self and one's place in the universe while exhibiting respect for the Earth, other people and other species. It is having wisdom and knowledge and realizing that each of us is an integral part of the fabric of life.
It is also the ability to welcome discourse. To actively listen to others. To know when to be silent and when to speak. To understand that you may not always be right. To know that people make mistakes. To not blindly believe what you see, hear, or read without investigating further. To not take one's self too seriously. To know the joy of laughter. To revel in being surrounded by family and friends. And...to be at peace, show love, display kindness, and promote learning.
The beauty of enlightenment is that it's available to everyone at anytime. It might seem easy or extremely hard. It may not happen quickly or happen in an instant. It's all in how much you want to open your mind and how much you want to quench you thirst for growth. Enlightenment is powerful. So much so...that an entire age of humanity was named for it.
I, like most people these days, am a pretty busy person. Many of the things I do are passions of mine. Teaching, keynote speaking, writing (including; here, my books, and my social media posts), spending time with family, friends, and clients, and watching baseball, are all things I enjoy. Quite a few of them encompass, what many would call, my career.
With all the time I spend in front of groups of people, my computer, and on the road, I know how important it is for me to "do nothing" but contemplate life. It's my way of focusing on the beauty around me. Don't get me wrong...I do that on a constant basis in what I call "my yogic lifestyle." Yet...there are times when I just want to slow things down and look at a stream, check out the trees, look at people, or watch the ocean ebb and flow.
Spending time alone "doing nothing," except enjoying contemplative thought, is like detoxing from the humming of life that surrounds us all. I don't chant (not that there's anything wrong with that), I just let nature do it. I listen to the gurgling of a brook, the rustling of leaves, the power of the wind. I also love to look at the sky, watch the sun rise and set, see the movement of the clouds, and witness the spectacular array of distant stars and planets. It also reminds me of the fact that I'm a tiny piece of a massive universe (perhaps even multiverses) that we sometimes call "everything." And - I marvel at the fact that everything out there, is also in me. It's quite awe inspiring to know that, if I want - I can experience the different aspects and energies of life - often...just by "doing nothing."