Earn Your Living Honestly

30 Apr

The strange days of Gyeonggi English Village continue.  Quiet campus.  No classes.  It is clear that, at least for the short-term, Korean students will not be taking class trips anywhere as mandated by the local government after the Ferry tragedy.  How long will this continue?  We don’t yet know.  For now we plan lessons for programs that may not happen.  And we wait for our administration to formally announce their decisions regarding how they will handle this situation.

I am learning that life at English Village is never dull.  In the year I have been here I have seen financial challenges, shortened teacher contracts followed by mass teacher exodus, questioning if English Village would shut down, and now this.  Recently I asked a teacher how he was doing in the face of the current circumstances.  He just kind of laughed and smiled… and said, essentially, just another day in the life at English Village.  When he first arrived here a few years ago, there was an outbreak of swine flu.  For at least a month, teachers at EV were quarantined to their homes and no students could come.  And while this current chapter has its own complexities and is burdened with tragic events, it is possible it is just another dip in the bumpy history of English Village.

We hear news of possibilities developing… 6 week international programs in the summer, perhaps more international and military students coming soon.  But for now there are big gaps in the English Village calendar and a fairly large staff of teachers with no one to teach.  We hear our administration will likely offer leave to some teachers to soften the financial blow of paying teachers with no programs.  But that full story is yet to be revealed.

In the meantime, this seems like a great time to explore the 5th Reiki precept in my Reiki Precept blog series.  As I have mentioned, Reiki is a gentle but powerful healing and spiritual practice that has been part of my life for over ten years.  The 5 Precepts are simple guidelines to assist us on our path of life.  I explored the first four Precepts in earlier blogs.  They are:

1.  Just for Today Do Not Worry.

2.  Just for Today Do Not Anger.

3. Honor your Parents Teachers and Elders.

4.  Show Gratitude to Every Living Thing.

The fifth and final Precept  is Earn Your Living Honestly.Earn Your Living Honestly

I have always appreciated this precept and attempted to use it as a beacon when exploring how I earn my living.  For me, earning your living honestly isn’t about not lying and cheating.  It is about being honest with yourself and seeking to be in integrity with yourself and the world around you when it comes to earning your living.  In my life this has included seeking work that truly feels aligned with who I am and what I want.  At times it has meant simply stepping up and taking some action to support myself… even if the work at hand didn’t fit my ideas of what I wanted to do.  It has meant practicing being present and simply tackling the task at hand, whatever it may be…. when I was in Germany it was often cleaning up rooms for guests or tackling a mountain of dishes after a busy meal.  Somehow it seems like it is about seeing the truth in yourself and others and having the work you do be a reflection of that truth.

As my current work is bending and stretching in unexpected ways,this precept seems like a good place to land. Somehow there is comfort and strength in its message that can be like a fortress in the midst of a storm.

For this week, I will continue to lean on the spirit of this precept and see what wisdom it has to offer me. I invite you to do this same if you are inspired.  What does this precept mean for you?

Good-bye for now from the hushed campus of Gyeoggi English Village.


Featured photo on top from a favorite near-by walking path in Paju just outside Gyeonggi English Village.

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