• 89th International Peace Meditation “Keeping One’s Self in the Midst of Change”

    “Keeping One’s Self in the Midst of Change”

    May 2, 2002– The idea of reinventing oneself is a popular way of dealing with a fluctuating economic market. Information technology has changed how we do business around the world. Globalization means that jobs that were once place-bound may now be done from any location through technology. Time is no longer a factor as communications occur in split seconds. Technology requires less time to deliver a message than walking from one room to another to deliver the message personally. In fact, family members in the same house often send messages to one another via the internet.

    Personal security once found in jobs no longer exists. Companies that are at the top may tomorrow be at the bottom. Scandals in the business sector have eliminated our sense of security as we have watched life savings disappear with the click of a key. Large investments may be increased exponentially or drop precipitously in an instant. No financial market is secure.

    So, how does one find a sense of security in a rapidly changing environment? What are the structures one must find to feel secure? What are the ones on which we can no longer depend?

    Colleagues remind me of the security they once felt, supported by the sense of company loyalty. When the employee was loyal to the company, the company supported that loyalty with long-term employment and retirement systems. The point in life where one felt most insecure was often the leap between education, and employment in a large company. Once that leap was made, keeping politics and competence above board, one could with some certainty feel that they knew what they would be doing for the rest of their working careers. The company gold watch was a retirement tradition. Retirement parties were held to celebrate one’s contribution to the company, and the contribution was richly rewarded with accolades from friends and colleagues. It was a predictable, safe, and secure feeling with which one made other life investments such as family and vacation decisions. This is now an illusion.

    The rules have changed, and many of those in middle age are confused. The loyalty they have shown their companies is returned only with a paycheck. There are no guarantees of continued employment, raises or bonuses, and the retirement once anticipated may not be there when needed.

    In the effort to remake oneself to become attractive to other employers, it becomes a challenge to remember one’s own goals. The need for a financial base from which to raise families, maintain shelter and food, and take needed time for rest and relaxation are dependent upon knowing that one will be able to afford at least the basics. The safety net of governmental support during bad times has eroded. While it still exists, it is not viewed as a viable option or a support system upon which one can rely during a break in employment. Even the disabled may wait years for relief, and find themselves at a loss to take care of themselves at even a minimum level.

    So, how does one reinvent oneself for the changing job market without losing oneself to survival needs? How does one maintain one’s integrity when values seem to fluctuate with the market? How far will one go to be what another needs? Will we retain ourselves, or lose ourselves, as the changes are made?

    The person best able to weather the job changes is the person who knows himself/herself. This person knows the negotiables, and also knows what is not negotiable. For example, if one’s honesty is valued, one cannot and will not lie on resumes or take jobs that will require dishonesty. If one values customer service as a way of life, one cannot do jobs that will endanger the customer. Selling unsafe products, or lying about a product’s addictive qualities when one knows the truth, would be unacceptable to the person who values honesty or service to the customer.

    The teacher who values children cannot in frustration exemplify behaviors known to be damaging such as put-downs and punishment rather that positive reinforcement and support. The banker who knows that giving services to unworthy customers will damage the company and, eventually all of the employees, cannot give that service to unworthy customers for personal benefit.

    The businessman who lies about the deal; the jeweler who replaces valuable jewels with cheap imitation; the spiritual leader who uses spiritual power for personal gain to get money or sex; the attorney who does not represent the best interests of the client. The governmental official who changes reports that might be politically damaging; the doctor who serves some patients better than others; the salesperson of products with unworthy claims; the parent who abuses a child out of personal frustration. These are examples of how we can lose ourselves at any time, but the potential may be exacerbated in times of insecurity. When we know ourselves, we set limits for our own and others behaviors. When we know ourselves we take risks seeing the whole picture and not only the immediate need.

    Writing is another occupation where we can make assertions that sell but are in the long run damaging to others. Persuasion is a technique used in communication in all of our professions, but persuasion may be contaminated when the claims are false. Getting ahead at the expense of others was never valid for those with integrity. The person who knows himself/herself values personal integrity above personal gain.

    Knowing who we are means making responsible choices. It means turning down tempting options when those options would make us give up a part of ourselves that we value. It means being responsible to that Higher Power we seek even when the choices are limited. It means seeing our lives as accountable in the long-term as well as in the short-term. It means maintaining ourselves as the role model we want to be for our children. It means at times taking a position with less compensation because we can live with ourselves and feel good about ourselves.

    In the end, the only security we have is in ourselves. When we are whole people. When we choose to help people rather than to take advantage of them. When we believe that truth telling is not a variable. When we believe that being honest is not negotiable. When we are aware that every decision we make has consequences, and we are simultaneously choosing those consequences with our actions. When we put caring and loving above status and wealth. When we know who we are and how we can best serve society. When we realize there is a Plan for each life, and that Plan always includes service to others in some capacity. When we believe that there is a place for us and that we only need to be open to it and accepting of it. We will succeed in spite of all of the change that might otherwise leave us scared and willing to be other than who we really are.

    Environments change. Jobs change. People around us change. Social values change. Wars and alliances change. What must remain unchanged is who we truly are. Who we truly are is a person of worth with unique and valuable talents to serve society as well as ourselves.

    Take these thoughts with you as you negotiate the changing work environment:

    “Love does not change the world for us; Love changes us to meet the world.”

    “Let everything you do be done for Love.”

    Please join us, from wherever you are, in prayer/meditation on Sunday, May 2, and again the first Sunday of every month, for the International Peace Meditation. Include in your prayers all those who join together in the Meditation. Please forward this e-mail to all those on your e-mail list who would be interested in participating, or reading the meditation messages. Invite your churches, temples, synagogues, mosques and community organizations to participate!

    The International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc. is not affiliated with any religion in order that it may be of service to all people. Our human empowerment online community message goes to over 700 people, and is posted on our web site for international viewing. We are aware that over 60 countries visit our web site regularly while many others remain listed as unknown visitors. The Institute continues to grow in influence, and we rely upon your prayers, and financial and collaborative support, as all of us work together toward empowerment for all people.

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    Sue Kidd Shipe
    Executive Director

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    Sue Kidd Shipe, Executive Director
    International Institute For Human Empowerment, Inc.
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