From the moment we are old enough to realize that we are unique and special individuals there is a gnawing, an everlasting presence and recognition of why we alone are on this earth. This particular knowledge that creates awareness very early in childhood stays with us until the day we die. In the game of life, we can either recognize, embrace and deal with this voice of direction and claim it as our own, or we ignore it allowing a very significant flame to burn out thus removing all illumination of our individual presence on this earth plane. This is not to say we won’t exist but that’s just it, existing versus living is truly a different thing. Rather than capture the magic, the beauty and the special gift we have been granted we choose to allow the influence of others to beat out our flame and follow their path. Once this is done we then have to deal with the damp, dark, depressing unhappiness that beats at our soul.
The Soul Versus Calling
Our soul. What exactly is a soul? The soul is the seed of life, that acorn that is forever with us (Hillman, 1996). This is the core of our essence, and the essence of our being. Our soul is a driving force that allows us to deal with the daily rigors, trials and tribulations of each and every hardship of earthly existence as well as to accept and savor every magnificent gift we are granted on earth. Our soul is that core of our existence that reminds us when we look at the mountains, the oceans, the trees and the flowers that there is more to life than the commercialism of the age that we live in. The soul is what shapes and forms our talents, our character, our ethics and integrity. By listening and being aware of our soul inspiration, and if we are true to ourselves, we are able to hear our calling (Levoy, 1997). Our calling is that special thing we have come to share with the world. This may not necessarily be a vocation, but quite possibly a gift or contribution to humanity. We may have one or several callings. Sometimes our callings come to us in appreciation of a particular art or thing. Sometimes it’s a reoccurring situation or opportunity that we may run from. I am convinced that there is no such thing as coincidence, so these reoccurring opportunities are speaking to us. It is up to us as human beings to be true to ourselves, pay attention, and evaluate these opportunities as possible callings. For certain the chances that nag at us constantly are quite possibly hints of our calling.
A Leader Follows His Calling
Some people are aware of their calling from a very early age and never ever doubt why they were put on this earth. Such is the case of the 14th Dalai Lama. Born Lhamo Thondup on July 6, 1935 in the village of Takster, in Amdo, northeaster Tibet the fifth child of his parents, who were farmers, the Dalai Lama lived a normal life until nearly three years old (Farrer-Halls, 1998). According to the authors, one day a search party seeking the 14th Dalai Lama, disguised as a group of traveling merchants had been led to that area as a result of a series of signs and visions that had occurred since the death of the 13th Dalai Lama. One of the high lamas dressed as a servant, that was in charge of the expedition was seated in the kitchen of Lhamo Thondups’ home to have tea, as was custom. Lhamo Thondup proceeded to climb into his lap and demanded the prayer beads that were around his neck claiming they were his. These happen to be the beads of the 13th Dalai Lama. The high lama agreed to give him the beads only if he could identify him. The young child did so immediately and did so in the dialect of central Tibet, which he could not have possibly known. The child was further tested for validation and confirmation of his identity including certain physical signs, which he did possess. The young boy shortly thereafter was sent to Kumbum Monastery to learn to adapt to the monastic way of life, which for a child of such a young age was quite difficult. How could The Dalai Lama who today goes by the new name Tenzin Gyatso, which he was given at the monastery, which is tradition, at such a young age, know with such defiance and authority, what his calling was? He listened to and knew in his heart the code of his soul, which spoke to him. There was no doubt as to why he was put on this earth and he was wise enough even as a young child to listen, be aware and use his genius to claim his calling. According to Farrer-Halls having had private tutors, the Dalai Lama was traditionally educated but also learned to meditate and to pray but at the same time he also learned government business and the role he would play as its leader. At the age of fifteen, with the Chinese invasion his role of leader changed immensely as the traditional way of life was dismantled for his people sending him into exile. A man of peace the Dalai Lama follows with deep conviction a spiritual way of life, the essence of which is the skillful unification of universal compassion and wisdom. He is linked to the fate of Tibet, its people and culture and has dedicated all of his energy in fulfilling his responsibility to them. As a true leader and International figure, the Dalai Lama has in concern for the liberation of Tibet come forward with constructive proposals for the solution of international conflicts, global environmental problems, and human rights issues.
We have examined a great one and listened to two great authors in terms of soul and callings. My soul has spoken to me for as long as I can remember. There is that inner voice, that urging and pining to pursue something, or to avoid something. What I have found is that when I ignore this voice, I tend to make the wrong decisions or I miss opportunities that I later regret. I have learned from these mistakes and I have learned to be quiet and listen to my soul. This requires quiet, reflective time and not always being busy and caught up in the hustle and bustle of the society that we live in. Then there is the authentic calling I feel I was born for and was imprinted on my soul. One’s true calling will never, ever leave them alone, as it is like a little irritating itch that will forever be there waiting to be scratched. Such is the case with my calling. As a leader I am intent on focusing on the big picture and always making improvements for things to operate more efficiently and effectively. Though most of don’t have a role as important as the Dalai Lama, if viewed in perspective the fact remains human lives and the quality of their lives are involved. For me the realization that quality of life is involved is always at the forefront of my decision making.
Farrer-Halls, Gill. (1998). The world of the dalai lama (1st ed.). Wheaton, Illinois: First Quest Edition with Godsfield Press.o
Hillman, James. (1996). The soul’s code in search of character And calling. New York, New York: Warner Books with Random House.
Levoy, Gregg. (1997). Callings finding and following an authentic life. New York, New York: Three Rivers Press with Random House.