Archive - Happiness RSS Feed

Corporations: Rich But Sad?

bird_tree_shadow

What is a country? A piece of land? That’s part of it. What really makes a country is the millions of “units” who inhabit it: citizens, people!

Can you imagine a country with no people? It would be useless, and meaningless.

How about a smaller entity: a company, or a big corporation, what is it? It’s a business, indeed. It’s there to make money by selling a product or service. Could a business exist without customers and providers, buyers and sellers? No! Then the money alone is useless and meaningless without the people who create and sell, and the people who pay and buy!

But companies could function just like a despotic country: The top executives and owners make all the money, while the workers make minimum wage!

You know one example too well: Wal-Mart! It’s where one branch could close the day having made hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the cashier goes home having made $8 an hour, from which he or she will even give a few dollars in taxes!

What would we think of a country where the president and ministers are rich and happy, but the citizens are sad and poor? It’s a country which needs a revolution!

Why don’t we feel the same about corporations that don’t make their employees happy?!

It’s totally right that the CEO makes more money than the cleaning crew, but the question is: how much more?

The question is: What is the quality of life of the cashier compared to that of the owner?

Thankfully, many young (and BIG!) companies are now adopting a new culture of making the work place fun and the employees happy (think Google and Zappos, for example).

It’s not only about paying people enough; it’s about the quality of the hours they spend at work.

What does a company that is rich but sad have to offer to the world, to life?

As customers, we should use our money and voice to vote for companies that care about its people, and against the ones that use people as mere means to make money.

Money is here to serve us. Once people are used to serve money, the world becomes a toxic place. That’s what it is now in many places and cases. It shows how much the lack of compassion and humanity is at work!

The math is simple and clear: Corporations – Lack of compassion + low quality of life for most employees + abundance of money for owners and top executives alone = very bad deal for our world!

We Are All Billionaires!

Woods trail 2

My income is no greater than my expenses. I’m in debt. I am not rich. Am I poor?

An accountant can calculate our net worth accurately. But none but us can calculate our comprehensive net worth, our real life wealth.

See, wealth is not only monetary. We often overlook other assets in our living account balance. Our “income” is not only the money that we make.

If we’re healthy, we’re wealthier than the sick in terms of health.

Would you lose your eyesight and get $10 million instead?

I wouldn’t, which means I have a quality that is much more expensive than the ten million!

Would you go to prison for 5 years and get a million dollars for it?

I wouldn’t go to prison even for one year for a million dollars. Therefore, every year of life that I live free is worth more than a million dollars, only it terms of freedom!

Every good friend, every brother and sister and parent adds up to our wealth. Would you trade your sister for a million bucks? If not, that means you have what is worth more than this very sum of money. How about a loving spouse, would you trade her or him for 2 million? If not, then you have something more precious than millions of dollars!

Next time you see this expensive car driving by and you say to yourself, “God, why can’t I afford such a car!”, ask yourself if you would take the car and lose your legs or your hands! If not, you have something more precious than the car, you’re already rich!

Or when you pass by that glorious house and sadly wonder why they can afford such a house and you don’t, ask yourself if you would take the house and get a terminal and painful cancer!

Would you trade your intellect for a billion dollars? Get the billion and go with a blank mind? I damn wouldn’t, even for a trillion dollars. We have in our little and fragile heads something more precious than a trillion dollars! How incredibly rich!

If we think of the monetary worth of all our assets that we overlook we will never feel that we’re in financial trouble. We’ll see the abundance that overwhelms us. And as the wisdom goes, we get more of what we focus on. If we feel rich, without money, the money will end up coming too.

When it’s Good to be Bad!

tree lake

We spend much of our life at what we now call: “work”. We have 168 hours every week, we spend one third sleeping, and the rest is almost fifty-fifty between work and life! Should I say: work/working vs. life/living? That would be a dull situation, but is part of many people’s life!  

We can say something nice and idealistic like: we should only do work that we love. True, in theory. The whole system today is not designed to make it such an easy task though. Since the industrial age, when people, or workers (that’s us!) were required to work in assembly lines, humans were mostly expected to operate like machines. Go to work, do the exact same thing over and over and over, get a paycheck at the end of the month, spend all of it, etc. You know the vicious circle.

Now more people realize that job satisfaction became almost a life or death choice. It’s moral life or death! Mental, psychological life or death! I don’t know about everyone, but I’m speaking for myself, at the very least!

Fixing the system itself is not a one man’s job. Every one of us is none but a “one man job” anyway! Therefore the task will not be quick and will not be easy, the task of doing something meaningful and finding satisfaction in what we do for half of our waking life.

What is a job that brings satisfaction? That sounds like a straightforward question. It just occurred to me. But to answer the first part of the question (what job?), we need to define the second part, the goal (satisfaction): what is satisfaction in a job?

I didn’t write this post to answer this question; rather, I wrote it to pose the two-part question.

What is the satisfaction that we’re looking to have in our jobs?

What are the possible jobs that could bring us this kind of satisfaction?

To properly answer the questions, one important guiding thought to keep in mind is to come to terms with what we’re not good at. I, for one, am not good at repetitive tasks. Let me say it differently: I’m bad at doing the same thing over and over and over. Finding myself in this situation will drain my energy and almost drive me insane. Once I master a task completely, I need to move on to something else or I will sink in boredom. This is my ultimate weakness, which could turn into an advantage in different situations. We have to realize what we’re bad at, because our weakness is the strength of another person. There is nothing wrong with that, life is designed so people work together and complement each other. Ideally, the world needs some switching of roles: everyone should move to that other place where someone else is being miserable, but we can be happy and do a good job. But that won’t happen on a global level. We need to do it one person at a time, starting with ourselves!

Yes, it’s not only good, it’s a must to “realize” that we’re terribly bad at certain things! It makes the difference between a life of misery and a life of productivity and fulfillment.

Stop and Smell… The Cucumber!

0614091324-01Food is our fuel, like gas is our car’s fuel. Is it?!!

We run on the energy we get from food, that’s right, the way our automobiles run on the energy they get from gas, that’s right too!

But how does gas taste? Does our car enjoy it’s meal at the pump?!

For some reason, our experience of fueling is different than machines. We could have been designed just like cars, pump some fuel into our mouth and get going! No, God intended to make our experience totally different. It even has a different name: eating!

We eat to feed our organs and have energy to move and do what we need to do. We also eat to enjoy the taste of food.

Food, then, has two functions. Two dimensions. Right?

Today I thought about the usually forgotten dimension of food. The Third Dimension!

When was the last time you smelled your food? I mean intentionally smelled it. I know the smell of food forces itself on your senses and reaches to your nose from time to time. But once you have your plate in front of you, do you ever take a few seconds to “give it a smell” before you bury it in the belly?

I do, sometimes. Food smells good, trust me! Why ignore something extra that it has to offer you?

Stop and smell the roses is a very sound suggestion. Do it. But how about you stop and smell the cucumber as well? Smell your fish, raw and cooked? Smell the fruit (juice), smell the olive (oil)…?!

Food has three functions, three pleasures to offer. Take them all, and thank the Creator!

If I Was Free, I Would…

What if I didn’t have to work? What if I had enough money right now to quit my job and do what I want? That’s fun to imagine :) So I though I should enjoy some fun written visualization!

I sometimes wonder how we made life so complicated! Our society is designed in a way to make sure many people will be stuck doing things they hate in order to survive!

Our needs are really simple. We need food, cloths and shelter. Once we have them, we’re good to go, and good to live!

“If you wake up free of illness, safe in your community, with enough food for the day ahead, then you can say good buy to any other needs from this World!” Prophet Muhammad

Why in the world did food become hard to find for millions of people?!

Why, when land is immensly vast, did it become expensive to get a piece of land and have your home in it? Why build those crazy skyscrapers, they’re complicated and maintaining them requires much more work and resources than a normal building! Did we already use every piece of land that we have to build up and high?!

Why would a house cost hundreds of thousands after all? It really doesn’t have to be this way.

People designed a labyrinth and they got lost in it. Then they designed tools and maps and jobs to try to make life easier inside the labyrinth! How about we just get out of the labyrinth?!!!

Well, most people are already stuck in it! We have governments designing our lives, we can’t just go out there and redesign our life. It’s not even about redesigning life, it’s about getting out of the sophisticated traps and get back to normal!

We even have countries, boundaries, visas, citizenships! Someone living in a poor country has to use tunnels to come into a richer one, they wouldn’t be granted a visa anyway!

Oh, politics! Politics is the proof that we gave up our life to the greedy, the heartless, the self-centered to take care of our needs and communities! Let’s get out of there or frustration will knock down my mind!

See where my though chain took me, I started by a fun idea and ended up into a depressing look at reality!

Back to my fun visualization :)

Now if I had enough money to pay off all my debt – car loan and some other debt :( – and be free from the need to work for money, what would I do?

I will not quit my job on the spot. I hope I can give a one month notice and make sure I hand my duties over smoothly, while working on the transition:

1. I would donate/give away all the stuff that I don’t need and don’t use. I’ll go through my cloths (which I’ve been already doing, slowly) and keep only the pieces that I really love. Dealing with my books will be harder! I won’t rush into giving them away (I’m already working on a plan to deal with my bigger-than-I-need library).

2. I will get a storage in Chicago where I will keep all the stuff that I didn’t give away, end my rent, get in the car and go on a road trip! The point is to visit the places that I think I want to move to.

3. Now I need to move somewhere warm and sunny. Lots of greenery and nature required! Ideally somewhere in or close to the mountains. I will look for an apartment with a balcony, looking to an open horizon!

Once I moved into my new place. How would I spend my all-free time?

- Lots of walking, hiking and biking!

- Now that I’m relaxed, no energy wasted in going to and back from work, no energy drained sitting in a dark room staring at the computer, I can engage in the kind of slow, focused writing that I really like. This type of writing is more of an introspection. No rush to finish anything. Just listening to my inner self and bringing it out in words. The kind of writing that is like taking a bath in the light of Spirit!

- I can also breath the fresh intellectual air of focused reading! I want to read about religions, history, get back to reading great fiction (haven’t done it in almost a decade!), philosophy, biographies, and the subjects relating to our present day problems and challenges, especially poverty and the environmental crisis. I’d like to gain a deeper understanding and make my own conclusions of what we can REALLY do to REALLY make a difference. It doesn’t matter how much we will change history. What matters is do what we have to, what we really can do to end the shameful injustice and humiliation that tens of millions of our brothers and sisters in humanity are enduring this very same moment! :(

- I will read and write out in nature.

- A great lifestyle change that I will now introduce is waking up early enough, every day, to witness the powerful everyday re-begining that is Sunrise!

 

Overlook_Sunrise 011

- Now I can also feed my body the things that I love most in nature: green and sunlight! You must already know how connected these two are, no mystery here! I have time to actually touch my vegetables, cut and prepare them slowly and mindfully, and smell them in the process! :)

Now, wouldn’t you love to do the same?!

Ok, and once you do it like I just did, what’s the point? Are we then to get depressed to the immense gap between hope and reality?

The point is to look at this vision, and start doing what can be done already. No waiting intended! Surely some, if not  many, of its components can already be started today.

I can, and already started to, exercise getting rid of unnecessary stuff and spending, in order to lose all the heavy weight that’s holding me down!

I can plan more walking and hiking during the week-end, during the summer. Indeed, the freezing northern winters have nothing to do with this vision. The trees take off their greenery. Being outdoors when it’s 15 F and colder is not too much fun! But while doing more of it in the summer, I can bring the vision to the center of my plans, instead of burying it under depression and hopelessness. With the vision energizing the hope, I can make a long-term plan for moving to the Sun!

I used to post in this blog once a month. Now I’m writing more even though I have more blogs in English and Arabic. I’m also trying to improve my reading. Both will not be as focused as the above vision would like to, but they can be gradually improved and increased.

Why don’t you write down your own vision? Why don’t you start today, little by little, to introduce pieces of it into your life NOW? I just wrote a draft of my own vision. I will build on it. That’s the way out of frustration into inspiration, from surviving into meaning.

Meaning is the food of the soul. We can’t be happy carrying around a soul in a coma in a polluted vehicle – the junk food bodies of modern times!

Page 2 of 3«123»