To Work Beyond Measures of Wealth
Fatima Bawazir

Work, a fundamental necessity in our lives, transcends mere monetary value. It encompasses our essence, allowing us to express ourselves, unleash our talents, and reveal our true potential.  

 Work is the vehicle through which we earn a livelihood, attain financial independence, and fulfil our basic needs of sustenance, shelter, and healthcare.  

But work holds a deeper significance. It is a realm where individuals find purpose, accomplishment, and a sense of belonging. Within the fabric of the workplace, diverse activities and roles intertwine, fostering camaraderie and a shared journey of growth. When we complete tasks and contribute to a collective vision, we experience fulfilment and forge connections with our peers.  

In this way, work offers many opportunities to harness and develop our individual capabilities, ultimately enhancing the quality of our lives. This truth comes alive through the inspiring story of Fawzia Saeed.  

Fawzia, a devoted homemaker in her fifties, had dedicated her life to nurturing her children. Yet, she felt an aching void for twenty-five years, grappling with anxiety and restlessness. Everything changed when her doctor advised her to engage in meaningful work.  

Fawzia embarked on a journey of entrepreneurship from the comfort of her home, selling fragrant incense and perfumes to women within her network. With time, her expertise grew, and she expanded her trade, sourcing clothing and goods from local merchants and facilitating transactions for a commission.   

Fawzia found solace and purpose in her newfound vocation. The fruits of her labour bestowed upon her a respectable income, allowing her to share the burden of household expenses. Her days became a delicate balance of work and tending to her growing responsibilities. As her entrepreneurial spirit blossomed, her lingering stomach ailments vanished, and her anxiety began to dissipate.   

"Interacting with people through sales and purchases rescued me from isolation," she confided. Through these interactions, she honed her customer service skills, enticed new patrons, and refined her marketing acumen. "I discovered a profound sense of happiness I had never known before." 

"Interacting with people
rescued me from isolation."

On the other hand, let us delve into the story of Fadia Abdelrahim, a 45-year-old teacher in a government primary school. Fadia, an engineering graduate specializing in computer programming, had never envisaged herself as an educator. Her passion has been in the realm of technology since her high school days.  

With a tinge of sorrow, she shared, "When I completed university, I had just entered marriage, and the societal norms in which I lived confined women's professional pursuits to the field of education."  

Although opportunities beckoned for her to utilize her expertise in corporate settings, Fadia lamented, "Regrettably, I lacked the courage to defend my passion."  

Today, after eighteen years in teaching, Fadia carries profound remorse for abandoning her true calling. "Yes, I was able to secure a decent livelihood for my family with my husband's support, but that alone does not fulfil me."  

Fadia grapples with the challenges she faces in her current occupation, confessing, "The weight of teaching has become unbearable. I feel a profound sense of deprivation, forsaking the vocation that resonated with my soul. Even my health has suffered, burdened by chronic hypertension."   

She concluded, "I am seriously contemplating resigning from my teaching position."   

Work assumes its rightful
place as an integral part
of our lives.

Work is not a mere means of survival; it is a canvas for self-expression and a platform for active participation in societal development. By aligning our work with our passions and skills, we create a space to pursue our aspirations and immerse ourselves in what we truly love.   

This does not imply isolation; instead, it is an invitation to embrace the synergy of collaboration with colleagues. Through these interactions, we exchange ideas, share experiences, and contribute to the fabric of society. Moreover, work allows us to refine our abilities through continuous learning and training, enabling us to unlock our full potential and deliver new value to the world.   

In this holistic perspective, work assumes its rightful place as an integral part of our lives—a catalyst for elevating our living standards, nurturing our well-being, and finding profound fulfilment.  

Image: © Yemeni Women's Voices Platform through midjourney. 

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