Lunch conversation went deep yesterday. Everyone at our lunch table has, in some way, arrived at the point where we have financial fitness. And although Craig is a bit too young to be as much in a state of existential transition as the older gents at the table, I think I can say this about all of us:
We make enough money and adding more money will not make us any happier.
Money right now is just this game we play to help us select one employer over another.
But the larger task we have before us is to figure out what it is we are going to do with what we have, now that we have more money... if we can make more time.
We are employees, not entrepreneurs. This place that we work... we are delivering the best hours of our days to act out someone else's purpose... for money. And we have to question whether it's worth it. And also, if not this, then what?
Strangely, Salesforce is also helping in their own way to provide fodder for consideration.
My volunteer gig wouldn't be if I were still working for Juniper or Verizon. I don't think it makes me a happy person, or better than anyone else for that matter, to be doing a volunteer gig. But I do think it makes me better than I was before I starting doing it. It gives me a practice venue for being humble and getting my hands dirty and reminds me that hands-on service can be rewarding.
Wednesday mornings, I go to tend the cats at the Sterling Petco and I love to try to do an unquestionably thorough job of it. When I sweep those cat habitations, they are CLEAN.
I don't sweep my own house that well!!
Maybe that says a lot about me, but I don't quite know what. If nothing else, that I am able to drive hard when:
- I know there is a clear purpose (making sure the cats have a clean living space and getting those cats homes)
- I know the beneficiaries personally (Twinkle, Halley, and the black-and-white-one whose name I can't seem to remember)
I think it is really generous of Salesforce to give us paid time to do volunteer activities. It's a grand experiment of sorts.
These are largely community activities that are of uncertain impact and are most certainly not remunerative. Non-remunerative... means that it doesn't earn money... is not lucrative... is not financially rewarding. They don't know what they will get out of it. Probably good PR. But also, maybe, a tiny sliver of a way to change the world by changing people. Reforging them.
Think of it as 10,000 tiny nudges, one delivered to each employee. I accept the challenge. And, I find that it is feeding me spiritually to have my volunteer time as a practice as I ask myself questions about what the hell I am going to be doing in the world that will matter. It helps a great deal to have a space where I can consider what matters without also considering whether something is remunerative.