I must say, I am truly blessed with a comfortable life. I have a job, a loving family, many friends and wonderful colleagues at work. And if we go by the trend, I could afford to drive around in luxury, vacation outside the country every now and then, but go party every evening or play golf during weekends. At work, I could stick to rules, play safe, avoid making mistakes, come and go on time and never step on anyone's toes. Lest someone question my being "true" Buddhist, I could invite monks to chant some prayers and play some drums and horns at my place. I could also be seen going around the Memorial Chorten every day.
Or else........ I could come out of my comfort zone. I could give some time and energy to some social works with those who are less fortunate, help some poor children complete their studies or pay for some addicts go to some rehabs. At work, I would not only "do my job", but also spend few hours more every day to do my work better, make an extra effort to help someone who doesn’t fit the criteria, take some initiatives to develop the system (after all the existing rules or business models were created by someone before you) and challenge the conventional wisdom - everything in good faith, of course.
Few days back I met a group of former addicts and alcoholics. I had met them some years earlier while I was researching on my film script. While I was happy to see them again, I was saddened to realise that many of them, despite being clean, have not moved on with their lives. The reasons were varied - a society refusing to accept them back, friends and families who have erased them from their lives, a system that has stereotyped them and public officials who throw them out of job interviews, etc.
It was heart breaking and equally disturbing for a society that brags about jampa dang nyingzhi (love and compassion). But getting discouraged by what is not going right, or disheartened by people who live in their comfort zone, is not style. I tried to lift their spirits by saying that we were all born for a purpose and as long as we breathe there is hope. Of course, I empathized with their hardships. I know the unreasonable bureaucratic hats we wear in our official positions or when we are in positions of power – and all our contradictions and hypocrisies. Still this is a country with a bright future and a nation that can always hope in a functioning government and, above all, in a caring King.
Leaving one's comfort zone can be tough. One has to make sacrifices in terms of time and resources, be almost immune to public badmouthing and not be carried away by gossipmongers and cynics. However, as a human being you have one chance to do something good so that when it is time for you to leave this world, and you don't know when, you will at least leave feeling good that you made a difference in someone’s life.