Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Survive on $1.00 an Hour? Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Survive on $1.00 an Hour? Bringing a Spiritual Perspective to Daily Life

Article excerpt

No, it was not in an impoverished country. It was in the wealthy United States. And $1.00 an hour was my princely salary for four months of work in a professional office.

Although this was quite a while ago, when a buck was worth much more than today, similarly qualified colleagues on the staff were earning almost three times more. Unjust? Perhaps. Yet this was such a well-known firm in my profession that it was a privilege for someone from overseas (like me) to work there, even for a pittance.

Actually, I not only survived on that salary but even saved money. How? That job had come to me after I'd gained a new insight on what income really is. Out of necessity. This was my first overseas trip. I'd hoped to expand my professional experience before returning to my native country. Seeing my small supply of traveler's checks fast disappearing, I was beginning to fear that my stay would have to be cut short. And the more fearful I became, the faster the money disappeared. One day I had just a few coins left before needing to cash another traveler's check. It was then that I woke up to my need to pray instead of worrying. By pray, I mean gain a clearer understanding of what truly constitutes our income. Though I don't recall my prayers exactly, I know they involved reasoning from the standpoint of what is true spiritually. Here is a basic starting point: "God gives you His spiritual ideas, and in turn, they give you daily supplies" (Mary Baker Eddy, "Miscellaneous Writings," pg. 307). What are some of the ideas God gives? God, as the creative divine Mind, imparts to us all the qualities of intelligence, wisdom, perception, insight, creativity. As Life, God is the source of all that really lives, and He imparts alertness, vitality, wakefulness, activity. As all-encompassing divine Love, God gives lovingkindness, thoughtfulness, helpfulness, cooperation. As universal Truth, God supplies truthfulness, integrity, uprightness, justice. Someone expressing qualities like these would be wonderfully employable. Also, such qualities are inexhaustible. Would you ever say, "I've used up so much truthfulness today that there won't be enough left for tomorrow"? …

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