TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO . . .
Twenty-five years ago, I quit my secure, high-paying job because I was burned out and hated—Hated!—going to work. My gut feeling told me that I no longer belonged there and to quit. I did. Financially it was not a wise move, but for the sake of my health, and spiritual development, it was the best thing I did.
That was twenty-five years ago. Did I mention that it was twenty-five (25) years ago? If I didn’t, then it was twenty-five years ago that I walked away from a good, secure job—much to everyone’s disappointment.
For twenty-five years, family and friends have never—Never!—stopped lecturing me on how I made a mistake quitting; that my gut feeling was wrong; that if I had stayed I would have a pension while I pursue my creative career; blah blah blah . . .
My family and friends have a problem with my gut feelings when that Still Small Voice inside me guides me to actions that they find disagreeable. Apparently family and friends know better than the Universe what is best for me.
Several days ago, I met a friend for lunch. I used to work with him twenty-five years ago. We usually meet once a month for lunch, and have done so for several years. As sure as death and taxes, my friend said, “See? You were wrong to quit. If you had stayed, then you’d be getting a pension now. You could pursue your artsy-fartsy career with a pension behind you.”
What prompted him to say to me what he and others have often said to me? I asked him an unrelated question about income tax. I had to ask this question several times to get an answer. He felt it more important to lecture me about my life than answer my question.
People tell me that they are only trying to help me by lecturing me. They mean well when they call me a failure and a loser. They also tell me I am stupid for listening to that Still Small Voice inside me. Again, people are only trying to help me.
I tell people that if they want to help me, then they can give me money the way the government gives money to corporations, and corporations give money to theater, ballet and opera productions. I see no difference between fundraising and begging other than fundraising is done by the rich and begging by the poor.
Of course I tell people that they can help me by giving me money, but I do not know how much my pride would allow me to accept the money. It would depend upon how hungry I am when people offer me money. My standards are flexible.
I accept that I am never going to hear the end of how I should never have quit my secure job twenty-five years ago. When I die, Satan will greet me at the Gates of Hell saying, “You know, Gary, you’d be in Heaven by now if you had not quit your job.”