Love or Distaste?

by Streen

Work is love made visible.  And if you cannot work with love but only distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.

  —Kahlil Gibran

This quote came via the book The Little Zen Companion, and it hit home.  Nearly 20 years ago, Relan Volkum (one of the original creators of the Jedi community) and I were chatting about what we wanted to do with our lives.  We both came to the realization that we were already doing it, as we were writing and teaching at the old Jedi Creed website.  It didn’t pay anything, but we were happy.

 After that site was closed and we grew up, we both had to find work.  Relan seemed to get along fine, but I was miserable, no matter where I worked.  Every job made me horribly depressed.  I thought, is this what life is about?  Is all there is?  I hated it, and wished I could get lucky and find money and a living in something I enjoyed.  Well this is one of those times that you should be careful what you wish for.

 I was in a serious car accident in 2005 that left me unable to work.  The most I could do was sell my artwork.  Eventually, I was able to get disability payments as something to live on.  So when I read that quote today, I realized that I had become the man who left his work and went to the temple, taking alms.

 Now I am here, writing to all of you.  Why?  Because it is what I love to do.  I don’t do this selfishly, but rather hoping to change lives, to improve the world, even if it’s just a few people.  And so I point to you, reading this: are you living your life, doing your work, with love or with distaste?  Take Gibran’s words into consideration.  If you hate what you are doing in your life, perhaps it’s time to go to the temple.  In other words, seek a spiritually based life and have faith in the Force to provide you with what you need.

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