I agree with Ralph Waldo Emerson that “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have (life) make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” Yes, we need to have a sense of purpose and live well. When you do what you are most passionate about and you find what you’re doing fulfilling then you’ll end up happy. I think this is the reason why people don’t stay long in companies. They simply go to work to earn money. Hence, my professor was right when he said that “This sense of meaning is evidently lacking in our society today.” People continually look for flaws and blame the corporate world for their discontentment and unhappiness but the reality is, they don’t get fulfillment because they’re working for the wrong reasons. Most people are successful with their second professions because their second professions are the pursuit of their real life dreams.
However, while I agree with having a purposeful life and endeavor it would be hard to convince every Filipino to live one. Having meaning would be easier to pursue for educated people (and just now I think I sound like the girl from the Amalayer video) but for millions of hungry Filipinos, I think basic sustenance is what they aim for. So now, we go to the vicious cycle of pin pointing who to blame. Why are millions of Filipinos hungry? First, miseducation of people. Filipinos are taught that the importance of family is togetherness even without food in their plates hence; couples would tend to produce more and more children who they can’t support. Second, our own Filipino character (or human trait) – we are self-centered. We want to be “successful,” ergo, rich and famous, even at the expense of other people. This is a common trait of most traditional politicians so they get the funding for their constituents but what’s really happening is; the politicians have ridiculously huge mansions while the people in the vicinity live in filthy huts. So for these people who just want to survive everyday, it would be hard to instill the need for life’s sense. I am idealistic so I’m still hopeful that it is possible. We only need to have willful compatriots.
So how about balance of work and life? My professor says that "the reward for work is more work." I believe this is the mantra of achievers. It would be great if every person would have this mindset then there would be no work slippages and overall productivity would reach its all-time high. I agree with it if people are doing what they are most passionate about because if they are, then no amount of pain and sacrifices would be worth the fulfillment they get in return. However, some find success in development and achievement of others. For instance, a mother would have more sense of fulfillment if she sees her son or daughter receive a medal for academic excellence in school. In return, the mother would be more productive at work. In addition, I also know some successful people and they say that if they can turn back time, they would want to have spent more time with their families and see their children grow up. One professor even told the recent CPA exam board passers, “just do your best. The ‘CPA’ suffix is just a bonus. You will work hard all your life to end up relaxing in a villa with your family but when is that? – when your children are old enough and already have their own?” I believe in the end it’s not the accolades that matter but how you enjoyed your journey and how you make your profession dignified. Hence; for me, there should still be a balance, i.e., you have dignity and purpose in what you do, you enjoy the journey of your success story, and you have a support system of people who would endure the pains of your journey but would be there to celebrate your success.