A Real Job?

20 Oct


My friend shared that his siblings were giving him a hard time because he just joined Kechara as a full time staff a few months back. They were Christians but they didn't use the religious card. However, they harped on his financial capability to support his kids and their future. At this point, he was stumped, he kept quiet and this further infuriated his siblings. (He is earning a similar pay package from his previous job) They kept on demanding when would he get a real job. Boy, have I heard that one before!

I think he wasn't asking for advice and was just sharing what he is going through. I thought about it for awhile and I shared what I experienced with my mum when I first started working for the Dharma. My mum is Christian too and there was probably some unexpressed differences between our faiths. Whether the differences have anything to do with her acceptance of my career choice, I can only speculate. However, I told my friend, he has to earn their respect so they will stop harassing him or at least lessen it. 

How is he going to earn his siblings' respect? Well, first of all, he has to stop asking his siblings for financial favors like he did occasionally in the past. I told him to remain on friendly terms and occasionally buy them gifts to reassure them he was doing alright. Over time, I told him that it would be good to be more and more firm and confident of his decision to work for the Dharma. He is an adult and does not depend on his siblings for anything and so they cannot dictate his life. He has to convey that in a gentle, firm and yet confident way. He doesn't have to be rude about it but just be confident. I feel that will make his siblings respect him and might even get them interested in Kechara, Rinpoche and finally the Dharma. 

I think he liked what I said and seemed inspired. Well, I was speaking from experience with my mum. She has since stop all her little 'when are you getting a real job' lines and has even begun to ask strange but cute questions that revealed her curiosity of Rinpoche and that is a big step. Well, all this was based on countless advice that Rinpoche gave me over the years regarding my mum and I told him hoping it might help my friend.

Somewhere along the way, I had also asked him why did he join the Dharma? He said it started off because he became disillusioned with his dreary corporate job. He liked Kechara ever since he joined and have been volunteering a lot and one thing led to another and he became a full time staff. Then he said working for the Dharma was not easy but it was whole lot more fulfilling and he like that very much. I told him that he is pretty fortunate to have the support of his wife. He readily agreed with me but he said that she has her 'moments' sometimes. But I told him that everybody has their ups and downs and she is no different. 

All in all, my friend is doing well and is very committed towards his Dharma career and in fact someone I admire for his courage. He is married and has very young kids but he chose to work for the Dharma and that is an uncommon commitment. 

3 Responses to “A Real Job?”

  1. Josh Akers October 20, 2010 at 4:06 am #

    My parents and friends are either Christians or not religious. My dad always sends me messages about how I’m going to hell and Buddha is in hell and he even says nasty things about The Dalai Lama.
    Yikes. He has gotten better about just leaving my religion alone but he still hits me up with constant reminders than all non-Christians burn in hell. It’s really sad because clearly he is suffering much more than me in his own life.
    I like this blog post. I feel so alone sometimes without real Sangha who I can get access to, (I’m saving up for a car, I don’t have one).

  2. yen October 20, 2010 at 12:41 pm #

    Nice post. Those who heed their calling are faith-full. No doubt that what ever necessities of life will find their way to the genuine yogi.
    Hey Josh,
    LOL! That’s what I call distorted extremist ‘Christianity’. Sad that Jesus’ magnificent gospel of love has developed this element.

  3. David Lai October 20, 2010 at 6:41 pm #

    Hey, thank you Josh and Yen,
    I am glad you guys like what I wrote and well, not all Christians are like that. It is always the practitioners themselves that give the faith a bad name.

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