abundance · action · career · courage · doubt · fear · fulfillment · hope · scarcity

Gold, or Coal?




There’s a story in the bible that tells us Pharoah tested
little baby Moses to see if he was interested in money, like all good Jews
(kidding!), or if he was just attracted to shiny things, like all good
Pharoah puts a lump of hot, glowing coal and a rock of gold
in front of the baby, and waits to see which he’ll reach for. Moses goes for
the gold.
So, G-d sends down an angel to move his hand toward the
coal, and when baby Moses touches the coal, it burns his hand, he stuffs his
hurt fingers in his mouth, and thus develops a speech impediment.
Thus Pharoah is satisfied that the little tyke is just
precocious and not going to usurp him.
I’m looking at this job description right now. I’m perfect
for it, have the experience, though certainly would learn and do more on this
job than I had previously. It’s in the community I would like to stay in. And
it pays up to double what I’m making right now (“commensurate with experience,”
of course).
But. I have near to zero interest in it. It doesn’t put me
closer or further on the path that I’ve seen I want. It won’t, in several
years, be a stepping stone, really. It’s over in X land, and I want to be in Y
land. They have the wall of Jerusalem between them.
So, Gold? Or Coal?
I can apply, see what happens. May not even get called in
for an interview. I could land the job, and gain a bargaining chip with my
current employer. Or, I could land the job, take the income increase, finally
put money into savings and retirement, come what may. So what, clock in
clock out, so what.
Perhaps this job option is both the gold and the coal, then.
It’s good to keep looking. It’s good to see that the same realm of what I’m currently doing is getting paid a much different wage
than I am, even if my current employer is really not set or able to offer me
anything more.
It’s also good to see what values have formed from being at the job I currently have: Did you know
that I can walk 5 minutes to an organic co-op café for lunch? Or to a Peets? Or
to a park with large swaths of grass where I can lie down in the sunshine when I need a break from people and computer screens?
Did you know that I can drive 30 minutes to and from work,
and can actually work out in the morning and meet up with people or cook dinner or audition in the
evenings because I stay on this side of the Bay?
Tell me then, about BART rides to a Muni bus and back? About adding
an hour to both sides of my commute? About the urban detritus?
And then tell me about a realistic and abundant retirement plan….
I will probably apply. I will certainly keep looking. And I
will have faith — that sordid word (look what “He” did to Moses’ hand!) — that I can
have the ease, expansion, and fulfillment I want with a salary that supports a life
of ease, expansion, and fulfillment.

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