The Meaning of Living (3)

Last Sunday, when I drove pass by Mississauga Road and Hwy401, I decided to visit the building where I worked for nearly six years from 1993 to 1998. I lost my way. I drove around with many U turns for about 10 minutes before locating the building.

It has been nearly 13 years since I last left this building. The neighbourhood has changed a lot. The concrete big-box building looks the same except the metal railing in front of the entrance looks a little rusted at its feet and the sign on top of the building has changed to a different company name.

I walk  around the building, remembering that I used to inspect the grounds as a co-chair of the Join Health And Safety Committee in the company.  I look through the windows and see where the fume hood used to be in the chemical lab I worked and my manager’s office where I had my first job interview with him.

I was ambitious to climb up the corporate ladder when I first started there.  I dressed for success, carrying a briefcase every day walking between the building and the GO station while I commuted to work from Toronto to Mississauga.  I even voluntarily worked overnight to get projects done, just so that I could stand out from the crowd or at least secure my existing position.

But I really didn’t like chemistry.  My personality didn’t seem to be well suited for building relationships for career advancement.  I was also too stubborn or dense to learn in this area.  Gradually, working there became a torture.  Every morning I got up, half- sleepy under a shower, uttering repeatedly, “I don’t want to go to work.” — until I was completely awake.  I arrived at work just a few minutes late… not too late to cause a big concern with others.

Since I was laid off in 1988, I have never missed my work as a chemist in that building for a split of second.

Growing up in Chairman Mao’s communist China, I was brainwashed to aspire to achieve greatness, become famous and make a great contribution, greater than most of the other people could, to my motherland and the communist cause.  Upon arriving in Canada, I was influenced to aspire to achieve the standard success: high income and high position in a corporation — higher than most of the people in the society.

They were all about competition — to be better, richer and more powerful than the majority of the population.  They were all about pursuing prestige, fame and respect from others.

Now, it seems silly that I tried to achieve all those success through a job I didn’t like and a work environment I didn’t enjoy, that I tried to win respect from others while giving little respect to myself by forcing myself toiling in an environment and a path that didn’t bring me enjoy.

The meaning of living is about respecting my being, doing what I enjoy doing, which may lead to achieving excellence or greatness in what I enjoy doing.

I enjoy delivering high standard instruction on safe climbing techniques to my clients at Zen Climb, safer than my competitors’.

This entry was posted on Friday, May 6th, 2011 at 10:48 am and is filed under Just Being Me, Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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