What brings us to the world is not as defining as what we bring to the world

What brings us to the world refers to the channel through which we come to the world: our family and dynasty. In most traditional societies, people’s station in life and indeed their whole life was defined by their birth.

What we bring to the world refers to the talents, the interests, the consciousness that we bring with us. As we can hone our talents, expand our interests and sharpen our consciousness, what we bring to the world is an evolving asset.

In contrast, what brings us to the world is largely unchangeable. We may feel hamstrung by our birth and the limitations it brings. While these limitations may be factual, still they don’t have to limit us, at least not internally. When we focus on our strengths and strive to develop them, we can make our own distinctive contributions.

Maximization of individual potential was the purpose of varnashrama mentioned in the Bhagavad-gita (04.13), which centered on a social division of labor that gelled with people’s psychophysical natures. Even if that exact division isn’t replicable today, we all can tap its underlying principle: harmonizing with our innate nature.

Such harmonization is, however, impossible as long inner insecurity pressures us pursue careers glamorized in the contemporary culture. We can increase our inner security by realizing our spirituality, by understanding that we are at our core souls, who are parts of Krishna. He has provided us what we need for our spiritual evolution – what that provision is, we will better understand when we connect devotionally with him through bhakti-yoga practice.

When we spiritualize our consciousness, we become free to do our best, because we will be self-defined by our resources – what we bring to the world – rather than our sources, what brought us to the world.

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