When I owned a cabinet shop in the 1970s, it often happened that when it came time to pay my employees, I didn’t have enough to pay everyone.
I always made sure that I was the one who didn’t get paid. I had learned this concept from my father, who had impressed it upon me deeply – that true service to customers and employees means that the owner will have to come last in many, many situations.
As the years went by, I was deeply aware that my employees had families, and that if I paid them randomly, according to the ebb and flow of our income, as most cabinetmakers were paid, it would be a tough ride for them to support their families.
As a way to generate extra income, and as an interesting side project, we created a software program that was one of the first of its kind, for designing kitchens and producing a very useful parts list.
Soon we were running the cabinetmaking and software companies side by side. When the software company took off and started to grow exponentially, we sold the cabinet shop.
I was able to keep my employees – my friends – and pay them a very comfortable wage.
Some of the people who had worked for me in the early years had thought mainly of themselves. I could never pay them enough, no bonus was enough, and no amount I put into our profit-sharing plan was ever enough.
Over the years, I’ve known many people who had a powerful consciousness of lack, and who were never content. I’m reminded of a remark that Paramhansa Yogananda made to his disciple Swami Kriyananda, quoting the Bhagavad Gita: “The doubter is the most miserable of mortals.”
People who cling to a consciousness of lack will always doubt that God wants to take care of them. Their fearful hearts will refuse to believe that God cares enough to care for us.
How can we release this troublesome consciousness that may afflict us perhaps more than we would like to admit?
By changing our consciousness through the faith-affirming act of giving.
Whenever you feel eaten up by worries, find some way to give – to give your life more fully to God. When you are tempted to worry about money, give even one dollar, and do it regularly.
Never feel guilty if you aren’t giving ten percent of your income. As Krishna says, “Whoever offers to me with devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit, or water – that devotion offered from a pure soul I accept. Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer, whatever you give, whatever austerity you practice, Kaunteya, do it as an offering to me. Thus you will be released from good and evil fruits, from the bonds of action. The soul united in the yoga of renunciation, liberated, you shall come to me.”
“If you tithe a portion of your income you will find that, far from depriving yourself, you will be connected to the source of all abundance, God. The more you live for Him, the more you will find Him taking care of you, even in the smallest details of your life.”
– Swami Kriyananda