Longing for retirement
Longing for retirement
The dream of retirement lingers in the mind of workers everywhere. We go through our lives looking forward to the day when we can relax and have the freedom to spend time with family, travel and undertake activities that we have not had the opportunity to do previously.
We often carry a sense of ownership and entitlement when it comes to retirement; a sense of righteousness underpinned by the strong belief that we have worked for X number of years and so have earned the right to retire and enjoy life before ill health or something else happens and caps our ability to do as we please.
If people choose to keep working well past retirement age, they are seen as the odd ones out – and even looked down upon with pity. The joke in many workplaces is that people are hoping to win lotto/the lottery so that they can retire early.
Of course, there is no disrespect meant here for people who are forced to retire early due to ill health or business restructures etc. and there is undoubtably a group of people who would love to be working but who are considered ‘old’ and overlooked when it comes to the job market. But for many who are participating in paid work, the thought of ‘retirement’ is like the proverbial carrot being dangled in front of the donkey day in, day out. But while it all seems quite reasonable on the one hand, we don’t stop to note what else is happening when we are simply managing life until we reach our retirement goal.
How we view work has a big impact on how we view retirement. Do we look at work as a necessary means to avoid poverty or have we been raised to see our role as that of the breadwinner and therefore work is important from that perspective? Perhaps we have had strong expectations placed on us to achieve high grades at school and study a certain degree at university so that we obtain the ‘right’ job that will afford us a certain status and income. Or we may choose a certain career, for example nursing, because we want to help others. We might also work in an area because that was all that was available at the time we were seeking employment. These days there are also new industries and people often have multiple career changes over the course of their working life as different opportunities arise. The point here is that it’s not important what job someone chooses; what is important is why we go to work because that will determine how we are in the workplace and our relationship with retirement.
We all know how it feels to work with people who are purely invested in work for themselves, whether that be for the power and status it affords them, the material comfort, the distraction from temporal life, the social aspect etc. On the other end of the continuum there are those who are super dedicated, work long hours, continually self-sacrifice to meet the demands of a job and so on. Then there are those who fit somewhere in between. But how many people could say that the purpose of work was not to meet their own personal wants and needs, but because they recognised that we all have a responsibility to work (whether paid or voluntary) until our last breath? This means that the purpose of work would not be about us as individuals; first and foremost it would be about serving humanity, followed by fulfilling whatever was part of our temporal job description.
If this was how we approached work each day, what would be the impact on how we viewed and valued retirement?
"If you understand that work is about people first, that it is about the enrichment of those around you and all others through the service and products you represent, and hence, that that is the basis of purpose, then it is that you will enjoy the very early morning of every Monday and likewise every day until the latest call of duty on a Friday. Then, enjoy the same on the weekend only that it will appear different but not to the purpose that invigorates that way of being human."Serge Benhayon Teachings and Revelations, Volume 4, ed 1, p 456
The retirement industry is a big lucrative business fuelled by the current strong demand and there would be a lot of resistance from both ends of the market to changing things. Yet this is where responsibility comes in. We can keep pushing along the same lines, going through the motions of our working life until we reach retirement because that is what we have long ago decided we deserve, in which case nothing will change. Or we can start to commit to work with the intention of going about our working lives, bringing our all to whatever we do, not to prove anything to anyone, but because we realise we are all responsible for the state of the world and every contribution counts. Yes, we will likely reach an age, or perhaps our health or some other factor will dictate, where we can no longer undertake our usual work role. We may technically be retired, however, that doesn’t mean that we can’t still work as there are a million other ways we can contribute to society.
If we reset our understanding of work, by association our relationship with retirement will change along with it. Then we are ready to ‘work’ until our last breath and retirement as it is currently known is not up for consideration. It doesn’t mean that we can’t travel etc., but even that activity would be done under a different consciousness as again, we would undertake whatever we are doing with a sense of wanting to connect with humanity wherever we go with no expectation of receiving anything in return. There is no specific financial reward attached, but there is a beautiful sense of joy, love, care, harmony and deep settlement waiting for anyone prepared to shift their alignment from working to retire in personal comfort, to working for the benefit of all.
We are a long way off as a society from making this shift; however, each step we take helps to build the momentum so what seems abnormal now becomes the new normal and we are a step closer to true unity both in and outside the workspace.
"We are designed to work in one way or another until our last breath, always engaging and letting humanity in. Let your last breath be your retirement. And before then, serve until you drop."Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings & Revelations Volume I, ed 1, p 303