The Art of Making a Living
So much rides on our ability to create and maintain our personal and professional Persona. To swim with the big fish, in whatever pond we’re in, we have to jump in and start swimming, like the others, like right now. Unfortunately, that focus on swimming can become the end in itself; we can’t stop swimming, too much to lose. Polarities are manifested, sides are picked.
In the process, we lose track of the gold we let fall into the shadows, that we can reclaim, rather than defend against. There are life-enriching, life-expanding potentials, in our individual and organizational Shadows, that become adversarial because of inattention, neglect or abuse. They turn on us. The things that go bump in the night, and day, that, actually, can be helpful. And, are meant to be helpful.
I like the way Laurence G. Boldt, in Zen and the Art of Making a Living, captures how parts of us, sometimes the best of our potentials, become split off and lost, and are seen as contrary or other as we shape and maintain our individual and collective Personas. [My interjections in red].
It’s time to get a job. Time to forget all that stuff about choices. Don’t think about visions or values. Don’t concern yourself with whys. Just be responsible [sic] and concentrate on how you can get the “best” job. Suppress your awareness of yourself as an observer and creator of social reality and plunge into playing the game as it is already defined, with your eyes closed. We have seen other ways. We are aware of choice, and yet if we are to be “responsible” citizens, we must try to forget. Be a good kid, now, and get yourself heavily involved in the game of winning social approval [power, network, income, job]–anything else and you risk ostracism [loss of same]. That’s enough to keep most of us in line for a long time. We still think about these things–now and then. We may talk about it some weekend, late at night, over a few beers or glasses of wine. As we grow older, we may bore our children with repeated tellings of stories about the good old days of our freedom (of choice). What was questing, searching, evaluating now gets stuffed, shelved, and compartmentalized. But make no mistake; it is not dead. It is only sleeping. (2009, p. 87)
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