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Sushan wrote: ↑November 28th, 2023, 6:04 am
I currently reside in a country where, unfortunately, the economy has suffered significantly due to political corruption. Despite holding a prestigious position, I find the living conditions to be relatively poor. I was fortunate to receive an education at no cost, which I deeply appreciate. Given these circumstances, I am contemplating whether it would be more appropriate to continue serving
my country or to consider relocating. Could you please provide some guidance or insights on this matter?
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: ↑November 30th, 2023, 1:45 pm
Can you explain in a bit more detail what you mean by the word 'serving' in your question above?
I suspect that word, and what you mean by it precisely, is a key word in your question and will become a significant factor in how I choose to answer.
Sushan wrote: ↑December 3rd, 2023, 12:06 pm
My country provides both free education and free health. I got my education for free and became a doctor. Now I am a part of that free health (although I am given a salary for my job). So I believe that I am serving back to my country and my people, and paying back for what my country gave me. That is what I meant by the word 'serving'.
Thank you for your reply!
I understand now, and this is a really great question.
When generalized a little bit, I think this question and topic is something that many people, and perhaps most people, can strongly relate in one way or another. It's the topics of serving, sacrifice, and feeling implicitly indebted to people as if you owe them something or have a duty to help them even if that was never explicitly agreed.
What you are describing, in part, is what I often think of as "karmic debts" by which I mean debts that are either (1) non-financial and/or (2) not explicit. An example of latter could be if a friend buys me dinner one night at a fancy restaurant; I may feel like I owe him a dinner, or something of a similar financial value. Another example could be if a friend gives me $100 cash as a birthday gift; I might feel like I owe him $100, even though it was a gift not a loan.
Ironically, I find most people tend to be more concerned and eager to repay those non-financial and/or implicit debts than they are about repaying explicit financial debts, such as missing a credit card payment or paying their mortgage late or letting a car loan go unpaid until the car gets repossessed. But I suspect the reason for that, which is very rational, is that explicit financial debts usually have pre-agreed in-writing terms for late fees and such. So the person (rightly) doesn't really feel like they are breaking a promise or taking advantage. In fact, usually we (somewhat rightly) look at as the opposite: If someone can't (or refused to) pay their credit card debt, home mortgage, or student loans, we often think of the lender as the predator and the one not paying their debt as the victim, if any one is a predator or victim.
Dishonestly manipulative people can take advantage of this. Consider the example of a deadbeat friend or family member who is staying rent-free in your house. They might cleverly be purposefully vague on the terms of that arrangement and not at all want to sign some kind of official lease agreement, even if the terms are very favorable to them.
Many people contemplating divorce are in a very similar situation to you. They may feel like they owe their spouse something, namely to stay in the marriage and keep serving/repaying the spouse for whatever that spouse has done for them, or even as part of literal explicit promises made at the time of marriage.
Many people who aren't married but are in a different kind of romantic relationship or platonic friendship can experience basically the same thing, minus the legalities of marriage and divorce. A very common example is when it comes to a beloved friend or family member who has succumb to drug addiction or alcoholism or such. It's not unusual for such a person to come knocking on one's door asking for cash with some wild story about what the cash will be used for that allegedly isn't drugs, alcohol, gambling, or whatever the addiction is. Among other urges pushing the would-be enabler to enable the addict at the door, one urge may be the urge to 'repay' or 'serve' the addict in return for long past things the addict did for them, perhaps before the addict became an addict.
Kids who have abusive parents struggle very much in this regard as well.
In yet another example, consider those who--out of loyalty or sense of non-financial debt to people and a company that served them previously
--stay in a seemingly toxic workplace at a job they seem to hate.
The answer to this kind of seeming dilemma is effectively the same as the answer I gave to another earlier question by someone else about the topic of overthinking
, which also applies to all potential addictions, temptations, and matters of potential abuse or any kind of seeming overdoing of something
. And that advice was as follows:
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes wrote: ↑November 29th, 2023, 5:45 pm
It is not about how much you do the thing, whatever it is, but rather why you do it, and whether you are a happy free-spirit exercising self-discipline and enjoying inner peace while you do it or a spiritual slave or oppressor who is abusing, especially in the sense of abusing yourself.
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There are chapters in my book
specifically about what I call karmic debts, overcommitment/overpromising, and doing less better, all of which will be relevant and helpful to you in regard to your question.
However, I suspect the most relevant teaching from my book
in this case for you is this one:
For some, the alleged beloved is a spouse they could divorce or serve, a parent, a drug-addicted child, a poor homeless person you pass on the street, an orphan child you've never met before who is begging for handouts, the taxpaying population of a country whose government paid for your education, or anyone or anything. For many, it's simply the older version of themselves, where loving sacrifice could be exercising on a treadmill today or depositing money into a long-term savings account. Whoever the beloved is, both the above advice and the following elaboration hold true:
By all means, if it makes you happy, in the sense of the true deep spiritual happiness that is free-spirited inner peace, then for your beloved choose to face extreme discomfort, take on extreme financial expense, and endure terrible bodily injuries or even choose death.
By all means, if it makes you happy, in the sense of the true deep spiritual happiness that is free-spirited inner peace, then for your beloved choose to sacrifice comfort, money, sensual pleasures, bodily safety, and even your life itself.
But never sacrifice your happiness,
And never sacrifice yours spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline).
Sacrifice because it makes you happy.
Lovingly sacrifice all you want, because loving sacrifice is one of the most spiritually joyful and beautiful manifestations of spiritual freedom and invincible inner peace.
But the second you notice it seems to be stealing your inner peace or infringing on your true happiness or free-spiritedness, then notice it is therefore absolutely not
And then my advice is don't do it in that case.
In many ways, it's extremely simple:
Do it (whatever it is) if it makes you happy, truly happy in the sense of free-spirited inner peace, in the moment you are doing it.
Don't do it otherwise.
Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
In addition to having authored his book, In It Together, Eckhart Aurelius Hughes (a.k.a. Scott) runs a mentoring program, with a free option, that guarantees success. Success is guaranteed for anyone who follows the program, both for the free option and the paid option.