“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: … mind your own business and work with your hands …, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.”
am·bi·tion amˈbiSH(ə)n/ noun – a strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.
What do we want from life? Peace and quiet? Do we have to wait until retirement or death to enjoy this?
Have you ever noticed how, when you are watching a show on network television that the advertisements for the programs are broadcast at a higher volume. We often have to turn down the volume just to stay in the room.
Noise attracts attention. Noise motivates. A siren can be good if it alerts others to an approaching ambulance or police car. However, noise is also used to intimidate. And, this is not always in our best interest. Those that would control us, yell. Drill sergeants yell!
The world is a loud and scary place.
Respect? Wouldn’t we live better lives if we enjoyed the respect of others? Would the respect of others cause us to have more self-respect?
If we are not dependent on others, we are independent, right? Is that truly achievable?
Yet, we are told not to be dependent on anyone. This is to be our ambition. We are to avoid anything, anybody that requires dependency in exchange for protection. Dependency will not bring us peace. Nor will it bring us respect.
I do not mean to be insensitive to complex situations. We have to pay our bills, take care of our responsibilities. Possibly, we need that job because we need the experience that we will learn by doing it. This is fine. However, if we lack the skills to do anything else and, as a result, are dependent on that job because of our limitations, we must develop others skills that will allow us to escape the entrapment of dependency.
If you are dependent on your boss’s generosity for your survival, do not be surprised if you are treated like a dependent and compensating accordingly. What if something should happen to where he is no longer there to support you? You’re in trouble … whose fault is that, really?
Worst case, your boss or spouse may use your dependency to abuse you, to demean you, to take advantage of you, to ignore the relative value of your role and that of your coworkers by unjust compensation or arrogant despotism, and you put up with this. You lack the “ambition” for the one thing that is critical to your being – independence – not being dependent on others. Ambition requires “determination and hard work”. You must flee that trap. Better to live a modest life on modest means than to be a slave to an unjust employer.
Seek professional help. Follow your gifts. This is where you are most likely to find success and job satisfaction. Independence.