A respectable addiction is still an addiction
Usually, if someone gets addicted, the addiction attracts disapproval. While drinking at parties is considered in some circles as cool, still getting drunk isn’t. And getting habitually, compulsively drunk is certainly frowned upon.
Yet there is one addiction that is often considered respectable. That addiction is workaholism. When people work excessively, making their work the center and essence of one’s identity. Such a uni-dimensional focus on work frequently eats into not just their time and energy and health and vitality, but also their mental stability and their overall balance. Not only do they have no time for God and their spiritual side, they don’t even spare time for their family members.
The Bhagavad-gita considers such work that causes oneself stress and misery to be in the mode of ignorance.
Unfortunately, there’s a social circle that glamorizes such workaholism, wherein people get awards and accolades. The taste of such recognition – or even the hope of getting that recognition – drives people so forcefully that they become increasingly hooked to it.
The key to breaking free from such addition is to place ourselves in a social circle that see balanced living, not uni-dimensional living, as successful. And the best means to a balanced living is not just a work-home balance, but a work-home-temple balance. Without giving our spiritual side due attention, whatever balance we may achieve – if at all we achieve it – will be unbalanced. Just as a workaholic gets a thrill initially, without realizing the hazards of one’s addictive living, similarly, those who are material-holics don’t realize the danger of non-spiritual living. But as old age, disease and ultimately death take everything, one is left with the sense of desolation and devastation that workaholism sentences one to.
By making Krishna the center of our lives and seeing all the aspects of our life as integrated offerings to him, we can bring about a balance that doesn’t rip us apart but brings us together.
By using our scripturally-trained intelligence to redirect our heart from the world to Krishna, we can relish higher satisfaction and gain higher illumination, thereby preventing the persistence of vision from triggering persistence of illusion.
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