I changed my job a year ago but I cannot become accustomed to the atmosphere of my new post. My boss is always yelling and
scolding the employees. I am also yelled at and have been called a fool. I’m refraining from being aggressive for now but am rather
nervous working there. I wish I could work more cheerfully and freely. When he scolds me, I become depressed and make more
mistakes, adding to my depression. I’m thinking of changing jobs but if I do, I’m afraid he will scold me.
(T.Y, 32 years old, female)
Response given by Reverend Tadashi Kuroda, Seicho-No-Ie Ordained Minister
I have read your letter. Since one third of the day is spent at work, it is only natural for anyone to seek a position that has a pleasant environment. You seem to be suffering from your relationship with your boss; however, beyond your suffering, there is a positive you, who is “wishing to do something about the present condition.” When a person suffers, it proves he has not given up. This is the first step to solving a problem.
I drive a car everyday. I used to think that it was only natural for the car to move forward when I stepped on the accelerator. One day, however, I was taught a great lesson that for the car to move forward there must be friction between the road and the tire. In order to change directions, I drove into an empty lot and in the process of backing out, my car got stuck in the mud and the wheels were turning but the car did not move.
After trying everything I knew to get out of that mess, I called a garage and sought help. The man from the garage raised the car, placed a metal sheet under it and successfully moved the car. The metal sheet in this case provided the friction. It taught me a lesson that without friction a car does not move forward.
Though you are worrying about friction between you and your boss, as you know from this example, friction is not the problem but a necessary element for you to improve things. Therefore, in order for you to move forward with your life, this is your chance to learn a lesson and that is, it is your boss who is fulfilling the role of friction. The second step is to think of him not as an obstacle, but as a person to whom you can be grateful.
Change your thinking about the person you think is hurting you and say, “He is a wonderful person.” Seicho-No-Ie teaches that “a person is a child of God and perfectly harmonious.” No matter how someone may appear before you, with your mind’s eye, see the person as being essentially wonderful. And, Seicho-No-Ie teaches the law of the mind that what one visualizes manifests outwardly. In actuality, you must recognize your boss as a child of God, look for the good in him and visualize this in your mind. This is “prayer.”
The prayer of Seicho-No-Ie is not to change another but to see his wonderful points, to visualize them, become friends with him, and also to be grateful to him. And why don’t you go to work a little earlier to clean up your workplace and make it more pleasant? It may be somewhat difficult to think that things will change suddenly but it is something worth trying. When your mind is in order, what you recognize will gradually appear before you mystically.
Lastly, I am going to introduce a chapter in Reverend Masaharu Taniguchi’s writings from his book, “365 Chapters to Fulfill Your Hopes, New Edition,” that explains the meaning and preciousness of work: “On the surface ‘work’ gives one the impression of working for wages; however, the most important meaning of ‘work’ is that a person is ‘serving humankind,’ is ‘realizing love’ through his work, and is improving his soul by doing ‘work.’” (p. 50)
Furthermore, Reverend Taniguchi explains about work that enables us to attain the value of a life worth living in the following manner: “When we do some sort of work, we are contributing our efforts to those of our brothers and sisters in life and at the same time we are given the opportunity to polish our own souls. This is the mission we are born with. By fulfilling this mission, we feel deeply ‘the meaning of life‘ and attain confidence in the power of our own life.” (p. 51)
The meaning of our own life that is engaged in “work” is a great thing, isn’t it? When you become the light at work, darkness will disappear. Please try your very best and work with bright hopes.
From Riso Sekai (Ideal World), February 2007 issue, pp. 58-59.
©Reverend Tadashi Kuroda