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Spiritually dumb

Post by: yesmissrossi

Thursday, 26 September, 2013

There are many bloggers writing about the cultural expectations putting pressure on 20-somethings to have the house, the gap year, the partner, the everything, and how it's all the fault of the Baby Boomers for giving us everything on a silver platter and for making everything now so damn expensive.

Of the commentaries that I've read so far, most set out to lessen the anxieties that many Gen-Yers face; a sort of 'stick it to the man' kind of attitude that tries to empower us to rid ourselves of the expectations that our world and upbringing have placed on us.

The whole point of doing this, however, is so that we can perpetuate our short-circuited motivations to acquire material possessions, the all-important  'life experiences' and 'rites of passage' that we simply must tick off our bucket list.

Generally speaking, when we feel inadequate we gorge, we rave, we shag. This is what a lot of bloggers my age are saying we have the right to enjoy without the social expectations to grow up and get a mortgage. And we do have this right. But these things don't fulfill or sustain us. The hole that is still empty is being neglected because the people who talk about this hole sound like fairies. But today I feel like being a fairy, so.

Virtually nothing in Western education encourages us to reflect on ourselves, on our inner lives and motives. But this is crucial in order to satisfy our deep need for meaning and development, not only now but at all stages of life. Our deficiency of this nourishment has made us 'spiritually dumb'.

I'm not promoting ego-centrism - far from it. It's an egoistic attitude and culture of our times that has made us feel entitled to selfish gratification. But when we isolate ourselves from others, we isolate ourselves from a sea of energy and potential that contributes to our own spiritual enrichment.

We have a responsibility to engage with the world around us in order to deepen the knowledge we have of ourselves, thus improving the way that we relate to one another, and the way that these interactions can nourish us. The Mexican knows...

An American businessman was standing on the jetty of a Mexican coastal village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it had taken to catch them.

The Mexican replied, 'Only a little while.'

The American then inquired why he didn't stay out longer and catch more fish.

The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs.

The American then asked, 'But what do you do with the rest of your time?'

The Mexican said, 'I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, Senor.'

The American scoffed, 'I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles and eventually New York, where you would run your expanding enterprise.'

The Mexican fisherman asked, 'But Senor, how long would this all take?'

To which the American replied, 'Fifteen to twenty years.'

'But what then, Senor?'

The American laughed and said that was the best part. 'When the time is right you would sell your company stock to the public and become very rich. You would make millions.'

'Millions, Senor? Then what?'

The American said, 'Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, tae siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.'

This story was taken from Zohar & Marshall's 'SQ: Connecting with our spiritual intelligence' (2001).

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1. Aftjutoa

27.11.14, 1.23am

Hello. And Bye.

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