Enlightened, Fool, or Enlightened Fool?

For many years I was the primary “manager” of the early-morning routines in my house — waking my children, making breakfast and lunches, getting the kids to the kitchen table and to school, on time. Every day the challenges were unique — some days there were no clean socks, or someone overslept, or one or both kids just didn’t feel like eating. Once we sat down to breakfast, we often experienced a few moments of calm. At other times I would have to remind my kids that breakfast is a noncontact sport! After dropping them off at their schools, I felt a sense of relief and accomplishment. The rest of the day, being CEO of a small, growing, complex company seemed easy in comparison to the task of getting my children to school, on time, every morning.

Whether in or out of the work setting, or at home with our families, when we are open and pay attention, opportunities to connect, to grow, and to learn are everywhere — while waiting in line to pay for groceries, while driving our cars, or while standing by the coffee machine in the office.

Finding fulfillment and satisfaction at work and outside of work is vital to our health and our spirit. According to Suzuki Roshi, (founder of the San Francisco Zen Center) “On one side we are all fools. But when we realize this, we are enlightened.” This, I believe is an important aspect of work, of spiritual practice, of life. It is actually okay to be a fool! If we don’t sometimes laugh at the surprises and challenges, and difficulties in our lives, we cannot learn and grow and become more fully ourselves.

What do you think?

(Adapted from Z.B.A. Zen of Business Administration, by Marc Lesser)


Stephanie Reap
Stephanie Reap5 years ago

I think life is hard and you need all the support you can get to make it through.

Aud Nordby
Aud n5 years ago

thank you

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton5 years ago


Robert Hardy
Robert Hardy6 years ago

I appreciate your point, but many of us have been turned into corporate soldiers and routinized worker-bees. We need to be viewing this from a larger perspective of social change. Without, most of us become little more than "consumers" for most of our lives.

Jennifer C.
Past Member 6 years ago


Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

K s Goh
KS Goh7 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W7 years ago


David M.
Eva Daniher7 years ago


Jane R.
Jane R7 years ago

Seems as though things were rough for you and your kids. However you wouldn't trade those times for anything.