The Musings 4
Read: Daniel 1
Brain Drain. This is a term that we all are familiar with. This refers to the those professionals qualified personnel's who were trained in reputed institution in India, like IIT, AIMS, who did not want to work in India, but on the contrary left the country to come to United States or other European nation may be seeking better future in life and in their career. I don't know how many of them when they look back will be able to say that their dreams were truly fulfilled in migrating to a European country. It is still a dream of many professionals like doctors or engineers or other professional people to come over to the US, but have a look at the recent news item published by CNN this week about the number of health professionals like doctors leaving their job and moving out to areas that they feel more are more passionate and are less stressful. The reason for leaving the jobs range from finding new passion, while some others are burned out while for some, their reimbursements are shrinking and hence this shift in their profession. The news agencies has focused on six doctors who have left their medical practice. The first one is lady doctor who is an obstetrics and gynecology specialist. She cites reason like shrinking of reimbursements, the rising insurance cost which are mostly due to malpractices forcing her to rethink on her medical practice. After dabbling in activities like painting, she finally finds her goal through writing and now this medical doctor is a writer, having quit medical practice. Another doctor that has been showcased is a neurologist who is now becoming a stock broker because he finds his practice dwindling and his reimbursements also shrinking thus forcing him to think about alternative professional practices. But this neurologist affirms that there no greater satisfaction than treating patients and healing them. What is astounding about another medical professional that has been featured is a chiropractor who is now a gun shop owner and another dentist professional who is closing his flourishing dentistry clinic because of some legal issues that he had with his patients and huge fees that he had to pay to fight those legal fees. Though the number of medical professionals who have left their medical field and are now seeking passion and meaning in new avenues are few, they represent a lot of other professional people who are stuck in their professional career, not knowing where to go, and are going through severe stress along with shrinking salaries, rising expenses and other living expenses thus creating a huge impact on their personal life too. I personally know number of professionals who are finding it very difficult to manage the demands of job, home and family because of the severe stress in the job front, the hostile work environment among other factors and who are contemplating how to move forward and feeling very depressed and has this desperate feeling of being stuck in life. We live in a world where every job has stress and challenges of its own how can we face those challenges and stress in our jobs more creatively and also perceiving our jobs or career as an extension of God's calling in our life.
When we look at the Word of God we find an example of a different kind of brain drain in the Bible. This could be seen in the book of Daniel 1. Here in this portion we find King Nebuchadnezzar conquering Jerusalem and taking young men who were handsome, having good aptitude, quick to understand to serve the king's palace. It is in this way that Daniel and his friend land in Babylon. Thus you see the occurrence of a different kind of brain drain. The smart people do not go to another country, they are taken by force. But the mettle of these youngsters are seen when they are engaged in training. The chief official in charge of training is assigned to feed them with the best food so that they are nourished, look healthier for the service of the King. But the Daniel and his friends refuse to partake in the food offered by the chief official stating that they did not want to defile themselves by partaking of the food. On the contrary Daniel and his friends tell the chief official to serve them only vegetable and water to drink and compare their appearances after ten days. But after ten days the chief official find that Daniel and his friends looked healthier and more nourished than the others. By refusing food offered by the chief official, Daniel is affirming that though he is in a foreign country and that the king would give everything that he desired, yet he felt that he cannot compromise on his calling and his values. His commitment to God and his calling was something that he will not compromise with anything materialistic. His understanding of career and job was more of a calling and an extension of his commitment to God. In the present career and job field, one of the things that can often bring greater stress in our job or career is when we are more and more worried about what we can get. Will the job give me more and more financial benefits, better living and other benefits? These are the questions that we normally ask rather than asking will I enjoy doing this job for the rest of my life. Will I find happiness and meaning in life while doing this job?. These questions are never asked while thinking of choosing a carrier or while looking out for a job. In our desperate search for some opening we end up in a job or a career that makes us feel stuck and depressed for life. I think we need to take heart and consciously reorder our lives where we are able to find satisfaction, meaning and passion in what we do. This can happen only when we perceive our job more as a calling of God, not in what we can get, but what we can give.