I want to run away somewhere. I want to retire now. I have worked all my life and I need to take the back seat and put my legs up. We come across these statements and it wouldn’t have mattered, had they been uttered by some person in early or late sixties! But here we see an early forty or late thirties young person saying that and it shocks one.
Why would you expect a thirties or forties person to take up retirement? It doesn’t sound right and here we have them saying that they are tired of it all. Our parents have worked hard at some bank or factory and have reluctantly accepted a sixty year retirement. They wanted to continue to work way beyond their seventies also.
When I see very old cleaners and drivers in Singapore, I feel they are the ones who truly deserve a break and retirement but these are the same people who refuse to let go of work. When we ask them about it, these people say that they wouldn’t want to just hang around at home and not be useful so they take up employment and prefer working till late seventies.
When we ask the younger generation why they want to get out of their work life and prefer retirement, they simply say that they are bored with work or just want to travel or take off from busy life. Often you hear a person saying that they want to make their millions by 30s and take up retirement. Everyday you read stories about people who travel round the world after giving up their jobs and taking up a nomadic life.
On the other hand, women say that they want to take a long sabbatical from work, either for focusing on their homes, children or life. Sometimes they prefer to take the big break for having a baby. Many of them do not go back to work at all, citing reasons like child rearing or some other. This happens in their thirties or forties only.
Whatever may be the reason for giving up on active work completely or taking a long sabbatical, the man has lost his or her own purpose for living or he is seeking his purpose in life. He gives up active life to take up inactivity, follow hobbies like travel or painting, look after sick people or kids, tend to family life or just get bored and vegetate.
In spiritual, we have a different approach to giving up active life. Following the path of spiritual and dedicating life to serving God or fellow humans are the principle reasons. The biggest difference here would be absolutely no motivation for reaching any financial or progressive goals. There are no achievements or targets to reach in life.
A man may start in his early twenties or late sixties also. Whatever may be the starting point, he does it not for some reasons cited above for material beings. He isn’t bored with life or wants to travel or achieve special goals. He does it after giving up active material worldly life to pursue spiritual enlightenment only. He doesn’t have material desires of any kind. His primary focus is to meet God only.
That journey into spiritual begins only after meeting his Master. He might get initiated into the path or may just join as an ordinary follower. He gets a new identity and has to begin his life by giving up on his old. He gives up voluntarily on his past life, family, relationships and home. He begins anew with his Master and considers his Masters home as his own and the only relationship is with his Master alone.
The difference between material worldly giving up and spiritual giving up is like the difference between earth and heaven. Spiritual renunciation leads one to spiritual enlightenment and freedom. Whereas material renunciation leads one to further karma’s, bondage and unending cycles of life and death.