Every day I am at work on time and even work overtime to build up my sales record, yet my salary is so low that I have difficulty supporting my family. On the other
hand, Y, my coworker, is very sloppy, comes to work late, takes a long lunch break, gossips with the female employees, and is not creating a good atmosphere for the
company. As soon as it is time to quit in the late afternoon, he is gone looking for fun. Needless to say, his record at work is not good. So I cannot understand why he
is highly rated by the company and receives salary increases. I feel foolish to be working so earnestly.
(M.M., 36 years old, male)
Response given by Reverend Yoshiharu Taka, Seicho-No-Ie Ordained Minister
I’m sure you’re disappointed for not being recognized in spite of achieving a higher sales record for your company. It must be difficult for you when your coworker, Y, who is not a diligent worker, is being praised. I have a suggestion. Why don’t you stop comparing yourself with others including Y? I am sure half of your anxiety would disappear. So what can you do to erase the other half?
You should become grateful to everything given to you and live your everyday life cheerfully with the hope of improving yourself. You may think, “It’s easy for you to say that but….” The reason you asked such a question is that you feel the assessments made on Y and yourself are not fair. However if I were to say, “The evaluation the company is giving you is not fair,” it does not provide a solution to your problem; therefore, I made the above two suggestions.
What is the truth about Y? Could it be that Y is giving his best behind the scenes or is cheerful and popular or besides his personal record, his presence at the company is making the atmosphere bright, creating a desire to work? Or is he as you say he is? I cannot fully understand only from your letter, however, there is one thing I can say. That is, the shortest way to solve this problem is not to change Y but to change yourself. Seicho-No-Ie says, “When I change, the world changes.” The environment is the reflection of one’s mind; therefore, when you yourself change, the world around you changes.
I would like to tell you about my own experience. I worked for 13 years at a company that dealt with semiconductors. During that time I was stationed in North Carolina for five years. Those were very fulfilling days. In the beginning, I had difficulty in dealing with customers; however, when it was time for me to return to Japan, many of them expressed their gratitude to me. However, I was not happy at the way the company treated me after my return to Japan. I felt, “I had to work so hard while I was in the United States so why is it that those who did not go to the United States are being highly evaluated?” or “Why did I go through all that hardship?”
At that time I was able to reverse my feelings through Seicho-No-Ie activities by thinking: “I do not care what others are saying about me. All I want to do is give everything I have in doing what I am now doing under the given circumstances.” Sometime later, I was transferred to Tokyo. And, a year and nine months later I was working at the head office in the International Sales Department. It was a position that gave me a wonderful chance to use the experience I had gained working as an engineer overseas. A year later, God gave me a new mission and I began working at Seicho-No-Ie International Headquarters. I am now given a wonderful opportunity working as a Seicho-No-Ie Ordained Minister.
Reverend Masaharu Taniguchi, founder of Seicho-No-Ie, has taught us the following in his book, “Life of Love and Light”: “A person is not born on this earth to criticize others. He is born to correct his own mistakes by seeing what others are doing; therefore, you must not become angry at them by seeing their evil deeds.” (p. 111) “Those who are successful in their lives study in earnest what is presently appearing before them. If you cannot do something small, even if you imagine doing something big, you will not be able to do it. Unless you are able to do acts of kindness for someone near you, I do not believe you can do something to make God, who is not visible to you, happy. What is close to you is important. If you are a person who can be kind and considerate to someone nearby, for the first time, you will achieve great success.” (p. 112)
Both you and Y are wonderful children of God. When you are grateful from the bottom of your heart and able to recognize something good in the other, you not only can build a wonderful relationship with Y, but you will be recognized even more so by your company.
From Riso Sekai (Ideal World), May 2007, pp. 58-59.
©Reverend Yoshiharu Taka