Investing in Yourself is what I’m calling this reflection
Lifelong learning is the topic. Sometimes on my blog you don’t get the headings. I am still figuring out how all this works.
I pride myself on getting ahead and keeping up. Or should I say – I used to pride myself?
Wow! How things just get ahead so fast these days. If you read about the generational conflict issues from a couple centuries ago you recognize that actually, not much has really changed.
And yet I reflect on my life and that of my parents and that of my children. I see so much change!
Types of Change
So, what are we dealing with here? There is change in external circumstances, in the environment, in technology.
But what about our relationships? What have we learned? What are we doing better?
As Josef and I practice our devotional ritual of prayer and scriptural readings each morning we have come to recognize certain cultural and social developments.
When we read words of warning or negativity, even from sermons given just a few decades ago, we become acutely aware of how important it is to maintain a positive attitude, and to always provide an alternative solution.
We reflect on what our own parents went through and how our lives have developed and changed! Who can imagine what it was like to grow up after the first or second world war? Well, actually lots of people who have now moved to Western Europe from current war zones! In Australia, America, and Western Europe, we have been largely shielded from such trauma. Yet today due to pervasive media influence, and immigration, we are painfully exposed to conflicts, inequalities and injustices happening all over the world.
When my parents left Czechoslovakia and then Europe, to immigrate to Australia in the nineteen-fifties – they invested in themselves and their future. Surely, they sacrificed their past, but they made a conscious decision for their future. The decision they made affected their whole lineage. My brothers and their families are now living in Australia. I grew up in Melbourne, Australia.
When I joined the Unification Church, in the nineteen-seventies, I did not think I was investing in myself. I heard a philosophy, an idea, and I felt compelled to follow my conscience. I sacrificed my nursing career and it felt like I really needed to do this thing to save the world. Yes – I knew that with my consciousness, with what I knew and understood, I had a mission and I needed to do my bit.
That was decades ago. Today the Unification Church has evolved into Heavenly Parents Holy Community (HPHC) and the official transition was from the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity to Family Federation for World Peace and Unification.
The Unification Movement was a bunch of Baby Boomers who transitioned from free-sex drug-taking hippies to morally upright abstinence-preaching family propagators. Today the former “Moonies” are everywhere from local government to the United Nations. Most are already retired. The challenge is now a story of succession.
What I wanted to talk about was the need for self-development. Today HPHC would talk about character education. For years we marched the streets to teach universal principles. Many early members fought underground to teach victory over communism. So many of my current colleagues in Austria spent years behind the iron curtain secretly seeking enlightened souls open to the “new truth”.
Today I have friends who meditate, some are Buddhists, some are vegan. I don’t feel like I can talk about all I’ve written here in a “normal conversation”. Despite my inner drive to share, to be authentic, I still recognize a certain restraint.
Back to investing in yourself.
I did a couple of mentoring courses after I retired. I invested in myself. It is quite common for some companies to pay for their employees to get further qualifications. I even had a boss who paid for my access course which had helped me in my capacity as a data assistant.
I read that soft skills are all the rage now. I see mentors and counsellors booming. The self-help industry as promoted by Bob Proctor has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few decades.
When I went to school, we had no computers. Some of my friends left school and had no compulsion for any further education. I had the fortune to work with a young, inspired student who took it upon herself to study computers and together we worked on discovering word processing to publish a book of proceedings of an international conference.
I was extremely gratified years later to discover that I was not the only one of my generation to delve into the “new world” of computers. Who would have known then that Bill Gates vision of a computer in every household would be realized in such a short time?
Yet today it is not an issue of computers. Our smart phones and iPhones are a mini computer with more capacity than the instruments that guided the first astronauts to the moon.
Now we need to put the technical skills into perspective and learn to communicate with heart, with real people, beyond technology.