April 03, 2013

Are you working for money or for the love of it?

What do you work for? You work because you love what you doing or you do it for the money? I am sure most people work because they need the money. Some people say they work for fun … I don’t believe that people really work for fun. Well, I am curious to see how much fun they will get when they are not getting paid.

Then there are some who say they do it not for the money but for the love of it. Recently I read an article written by a bistro owner (a top chef as she claimed she is) who said that she opened a bistro not for the money but for the love of it (the love of cooking I presume).

Her article attracted a lot of “hoo hahs’ and many netizens commented that if she is doing something not for the money but for the love of it, why open a bistro? Why start a business?

I agree with the netizens … if you are not doing it for the money (assuming you already have millions stashed up) … why open a bistro? Hey, go start a soup kitchen … cook some great food to feed the poor, the homeless and the destitute … right?

But this is not what I intended to talk about here … I don’t want to talk about those who work for money or those who work for the love of it. What I want to talk about are those people who do things NOT for the money and NOT for the love of it. What do I mean?

Let me tell you about one such person.

Many years ago during a short working stint in Hong Kong, I was introduced to a doctor (who has since passed away … died while working in his clinic) who was already in his 80s and could hardly walk but was still practicing and offering his services for free to those who really cannot afford it. When I was in his clinic, I met so many of his patients who have nothing but very good words for him.

They told me he was a rich man, made his money in his younger days and all his children are established doctors in their own rights. He can live in luxury in his later years but he chose to continue practicing and offer his services to the poor until the day he died.

People asked him why he was still working at his age … they thought he must have really loved what he was doing. They were wrong. The doctor explained … how can he love what he was doing when every day he sees so many sick people waiting in his clinic, he sees so many people suffering and he sees so many of his patients dying. This good doctor was NOT doing what he did for the love of it or for the money … he was doing it because he cares, he was doing it because he wants to help and he was doing it even in his 80s because he was still able to help.

This good doctor shared my highest regard and respect with many other extraordinary people such as Mother Teresa who have done so many things NOT because she love what she was doing and NOT because of any money. She did it because she cares about the sick, she cares about the poor and she cares about the orphans.

Similarly … Mahatma Gandhi, who sacrificed so much NOT because he love what he was doing and definitely NOT for any money. He did it because he cares about the people, he cares about his country and he cares about the rights of his countrymen.

Let me ask you … are you working for the money or for the love of it? Well, most of us will have to work for the money … a few lucky ones may enjoy the financial freedom to work for the love of it.

Maybe come a time when you can do something NOT for the love of it and NOT for the money but you do it because you really care … you do it because you want to help the unfortunates and make their lives a little bit better … then like the good doctor, you too will have my highest regard and respect.