Make Work a Celebration
Life is a Celebration
Let us find out whether life is a schedule of duties and works to be performed, or it is a celebration.
If life is work, a duty, then it is bound to turn into burden, a drag, and we will have to go through it, as we do, with a heavy heart.
Life is really a great feast, a blissful festivity. It is not homework, not a task that has to be performed willy-nilly.
It is not that someone will cease to work if he takes life as a celebration. He will certainly work, but his work will be a part of the festivity, it will have the flavor of celebration.
Then work will happen in the company of singing and dancing. It is true there will not be too much work, it will be less in quantity, but in quality, it will be superb.
Quantitatively the work will be less, but qualitatively it is going to be immeasurable.
Addicted to Work
You must have noticed how people who are addicted to work, who turn everything into work, have filled life with tension and only tension. All anxieties of life are the handiwork of the workaholics; they have turned life into a workshop. Their slogan is, do or die. They say, "Do something as long as you are alive, or die if you cannot do anything." They have no other vision of life except work. And they don't have even a right perspective of work.
Work for what?
Why does man work?
Man works so he can live.
And what does living mean?
To live means to celebrate life. We work so that we can have a moment of dance in our lives. Really, work is just a means to celebrate life. But the irony is that the way we live there is no leisure left to sing and dance and celebrate life. We turn means into an end; we make work the be-all and end-all of life. And then life is confined between two places, our home and the office. Home to office and back home is all we know of life. In fact, home ceases to be a home, we bring our office home with us after we leave it in the evening. Then, psychologically, we are in a mess; we live an entangled life, a confused and listless life. The we keep running for the rest of our lives in the hope that someday we will have time to relax, rest and enjoy life. But that day really never comes; it will never come. Really, workaholics will never know that there is rest and joy and bliss in life.
Why do flower blooms?
You must take life as festivity, as a play, fun. It is how flowers, birds and stars take life. Except man, the whole world takes life as play, fun. Ask a flower why it blooms. For what? It blooms without a purpose. A star moves across the sky without a purpose. And purposelessly, the wind blows, and keeps blowing. Except man, everything under the sun is a play, a carnival. Only man works and toils and sheds copious tears. Except man, the whole cosmos is celebrating. Every moment of it is celebration.
It does not mean that there will be no work if we turn life into a celebration. It is not that the wind does not work; it is always moving, blowing. It is not that the stars are idle; they are constantly moving. It is not that flowers don't do anything when they bloom; really, they do a lot. But for them, doing it is not that important; what is important is being. Being is primary and doing is secondary for them. Celebration comes first and work takes a back seat in their lives. Work is preparatory to celebration.
Blooming of a Rose
Everyone in the world is running and reaching somewhere. And no man knows where this "somewhere" is. Everyone is hurrying through life. "Hurry up," has become our watchword. Bur no one asks, "Where are we going?" We work hard, but we don't know why we work so hard. One does not even have time to think why he is toiling day in and day out. He is running just because his neighbor is running, his friends are running, the whole world is running. Everyone is running for fear of being left behind the other runners.
If you examine deeply, you will find that happiness and suffering are two aspects of the same thing, two sides of the same coin, or, perhaps, they are different densities of the same phenomenon.
The workaholics have done immense harm to the world. And the greatest harm they have done is that they have deprived life of its moments of celebration and festivity. It is because of them that there is so little festivity in the world, and every day it is becoming more and more dull and dreary and miserable.
In fact, entertainment has taken the place of celebration in the present world. But entertainment is quite different from celebration; entertainment and celebration are never the same.
In celebration you are a participant; in entertainment you are only a spectator. In entertainment, you watch others playing for you. So while celebration is active, entertainment is passive. In celebration you dance, while in entertainment, you watch someone dancing, for which you pay him. But there is a world of difference between dancing and watching a dance performed by a group of professionals who are paid for it. You work hard during the day, and when you are tired in the evening, you go to a concert to watch others dancing. It is all you can do, but it is not even an apology for celebration.
We are so busy, we don't have time for love. Love is a celebration, but for workaholics, it has become a superfluous thing. It does not yield any profits; it does not add to their bank balances. Love is an end unto itself; it cannot be turned into a business. So those who are addicted to work think it a waste of time to be in love.
Obsession with work has taken away the moments of celebration in our life, and we have been deprived of the excitement and thrill that comes with celebration. That is why nobody is happy, nobody is cheerful, nobody is blossoming. That is why suffering has become the badge of mankind.
We had to find a substitute for celebration, and entertainment is that substitute, because we do need a few moments of relaxation, a brief spell of diversion. But entertainment is a very poor substitute, because others do it and we are only spectators. It is like the vicarious pleasure we derive from watching someone in love. This is precisely what you do when you watch a movie. You watch the love there is between a man and a woman and you enjoy it. It is a false substitute; it is utterly useless. It is not going to give you a taste of love. On the other hand, your disaffection and torment will deepen and land you in still greater misery.
Know love directly, enter into it, and only then you will be happy. Real love alone can make life festive, entertainment won't. Take life as a great play, a mighty drama. This world must be filled more and more with love, song and dance, with music and festivity.