Marty Nemko, a career coach, author and radio talk-show host in the San Francisco area, who has very practical career and educational advice that I highly recommend, wrote a very personal article titled “What the Hell is the Meaning of Life”. This article is the fourth (here is the first) of a seven part series in response to Marty’s question. In this article I’ll address the issue of prestige from a spiritual perspective.

Marty wrote,

“Next, I tried prestige: got a PhD from Berkeley, became a professor. But in my social science field, I often felt like an emperor with no clothes. So much social “Science” is poorly substantiated, politically motivated theory. My students ate it up but I felt I was often feeding them ersatz food.”

This idea of trying to find meaning from prestige is similar to the issue of noble work mentioned earlier. Again it implies that it’s not work that you truly want to do but rather you’re only doing it because you expect society to stroke your ego when you tell them about the initials after your name and what you do. This is not a proper perspective. Your personality is the only part of you that’s concerned with prestige. It’s hoping that with prestige comes safety and security. This seems logical from the personality’s perspective but there is no true security from this…it’s empty and vapid. True prestige is a result of understanding and expressing the divinity within you. It is a spiritual prestige that comes from being a shining example of true love, wisdom, beauty, peace and compassion (see “The Meaning of Life: Rise and Shine”). Spiritual prestige follows from your service and contribution to humanity. However, this prestige is not recognized publicly nor is it desired to be recognized that way. It’s an inner knowing and acknowledgment that results in “J-O-Y” after your name rather than any other initials. And from what I can tell you are providing good advice and seem to truly want to help people and this is worthy of divine prestige.

Next time – is meritocracy the answer to the meaning of life?

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