The Secret of Life: The Second Secret
Explanation and Introduction
This is the second in my series about finding the Secret of Life. It is, in effect, a culmination of lessons learned that have provided insight for me, and hopefully you will find them valuable as well.
The secret of life! What I have tried to do is find the commonalities for all of us, those key factors that make life meaningful for each and every one of us. It has always been my belief that we all have so many more commonalities than we do differences. Perhaps if we study in a bit more depth those common factors that we all share, we will somehow move closer to each other, and if that happens, then the sky is the limit.
The first of this series discussed love and its importance for the human species. Today we will take a look at the topic of productivity.
The first of this series
- The Secret of Life: The First Secret
The first in a series discussing what is important in life. Join the author as he reflects on his findings during his lifetime.
A Glance Around Society
I think perhaps the most insidious result of homelessness and unemployment is the loss of self-worth that is associated with those two social factors. Take away a person’s job and/or home and you have taken away a part of who he/she is; of the two, I believe the lack of a job, or the lack of a productive undertaking, is the worst.
Let’s think about this for a moment. Since the beginning of time, man has been a hunter, a gatherer, a farmer and a producer. It is what we do! We rise in the morning and then we tackle tasks. In those tasks we find a certain degree of satisfaction. We clean the garage and we feel good about it. We meet our goals at work and we feel good about it. We raise good children and we feel good about it.
We are doers! We need a purpose! Some may not like their jobs but they at least have a feeling of accomplishment in doing those jobs, and there is an unspoken sense of pride in being productive.
Take that away and what do you have?
Look on the streets of any major city in this country and you will see what the result is of lost productivity. Look in homes and you will see the moroseness, the depression, the drug and alcohol abuse, the verbal and physical abuse and yes, the suicide and homicide.
Do you believe that people need to feel productive?
A Glance Back in Time
I remember my first job. I was fifteen years old and I was hired part-time to work in our neighborhood bowling alley. I have no idea what the pay was; I know I did get free bowling in addition to the pay and I thought that was a great bonus.
I clearly remember coming home from work that first week and feeling fantastic. It wasn’t because of the money for the job really did not pay much; it was the feeling that I was accomplishing something, that I was a functioning member of society, and that I was being productive.
Flash forward a few decades. Since that first job at the age of fifteen, to today, nearly fifty years later, I have only been out of work three times for a total of six months. The first time was my choice because I wanted to return to college to get my teaching degree. The last two were not my choice, and I can tell you with all certainty that I hated it. I was instantly depressed being out of work. It was as though a part of my identity had been stolen. I moped around the house; I dragged my feet doing chores; I slowly fell into a feeling of worthlessness, and it was horrible.
I knew I was not being productive. I knew I was not fulfilling a purpose. I knew a part of me was missing.
A Look at Today
Politicians shake their heads and debate how to tackle the economic problems, when really there is no mystery to it at all. Put people back to work! Allow them to stay productive and regain a feeling of self-worth.
I do not believe that most people want a handout. Of course there is a fringe group that plays the system for benefits so that they will not have to work, but I believe the majority of citizens would be much happier working and making it on their own rather than taking benefits from the government.
I have known poor people. Hell, I have lived among them. Most of them were embarrassed having to ask for food or shelter. They did not need pity; they needed a job so that they could have some self-respect.
What is that old saying about giving a man a fish and he has a meal for one day, but teach him how to fish and he will be set for life? How true those words are!
More thoughts on the matter
- Reach For Stars
There is still time to throw off those self-imposed chains and chase the stars. Can you do it? Will you do it? Do you want to do it?
It Comes from Within
The impetus for productivity must come from within each of us. There will be times when there are no external stimuli. Jobs may not be available; what does one do then? Perhaps physical handicaps make it nearly impossible to interact in society. How does one then find productivity in life?
There are no easy answers to those questions, but an answer must be found, for to accomplish nothing is to chip away at our heart and soul. Man must have a purpose; man must have a goal.
I have a former student who has been wheel-chair bound her entire life. Oh how easy it would have been for her to accept her fate and live out her life being waited on and provided for. However, the need to be a productive member of society was too strong in this marvelous human being. She went to high school, and then college, and became a counselor at a local high school. She loves her life because she is doing service for others and she is a productive.
I wonder how she would have turned out if she had chosen to be an invalid with no purpose in her life?
Sit with me awhile and let's chat
Go out and See for Yourself
Do a test on your own! Look in the mirror and ask yourselves if you feel productive? Are you fulfilling a purpose here on Earth, or are you just going through the motions and wasting valuable time?
This, then, is the second secret of life: Be productive! Find a purpose! Establish goals and move towards their completion!
Do not waste another moment wallowing in self-doubt or feelings of inferiority. Each one of you is an integral part of this thing called Life, but it is up to you to demonstrate your importance through your actions. Nobody else can do that for you.
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)