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The code of living

Do you work to live or live to work? This thought should prick us all. Of course, most of us would say we try to work to live and not the other way round. This reminds me of a more pointed saying, ‘Work like a coolie, and live like a king.’

india Updated: Feb 21, 2011 23:50 IST
PP Wangchuk

Do you work to live or live to work? This thought should prick us all. Of course, most of us would say we try to work to live and not the other way round. This reminds me of a more pointed saying, ‘Work like a coolie, and live like a king.’

But the point is do we do that? I am afraid most of us may fall in the ‘No’ category. That is why it is said we should not live to eat, but eat to live. Even though both are important and complementary, one has to make a choice that makes a better option. Living to eat casts us in the category of animals with nothing to do with the larger meaning of life.

To come out of this ‘Live to eat’ tangle, however attractive and comfortable, one must have a sense of purpose and the realisation that after all this life may be just one that one may have; and that one must make full use of it by making it useful.

Several factors lead us to the awareness of such a state of mind. First, one needs to build up strong will power and determination to ‘walk the thought’. To carry out a smooth transition from ‘live to work’ to ‘work to live’.

Secondly, one has to have an insight into successful people who have made a difference. To have the opportunity to follow and get inspired by people who have been the dynamics of social change; and because of that change people could realise the purpose of life.

In other words, the awareness to rise above ‘animal mentality’ has to be worked out consciously because it eludes those who lack the vision for tomorrow. One way to have this vision is to be a vegetarian, to value all kinds of life. And the day you are strong enough to realise this, you are on the path of purposefulness.