How Sukh Came To Quit His Job
Posted by Nipun Mehta on Sep 25, 2008
Every year, Sukh Chugh and the Be The Cause crew put on the wonderful Walk For Hope. Below is an excerpt, in Sukh's own words, about what moved him to quit his job and tread the service path:
A few days after 9/11 I found myself in the streets of New York. It dawned on me how many people on the planet were moving their lives towards hatred and violence. Afterwards, I returned to my consulting job and saw how many people there were moving their lives towards greed and ego. I saw all of this as a movement towards suffering.
A senior partner of the firm I used to work at would pass by my desk everyday. Everyday he would ask me how I was doing. My reply was always the same, "I'm doing great". Months went by and he continued to ask me the same question every day. One day, he asked me the question again, I replied like I always did, but this time he responded with another question. He asked me, "What's wrong with you?" He couldn't believe that I could be happy everyday even in this high stressful job. What he said next shocked me. He proceeded to tell me that he didn't remember the last time he felt good about his life. In that moment I found life's greatest lesson. He had more power and more money than I could dream of and yet he didn't have the one thing that mattered: happiness. Right then I vowed that no matter what happens in life, I could not end up like him.
A few months later I found myself in India for my brother's wedding. I made it a point to interact with as many poverty stricken individuals as possible. What I learned was astonishing. Families of five lived in homes that were the size of my bedroom closet. They had no running water, meals were always scarce, and they had no toilet facilities in the house. The women, along with the men, all had to defecate out in the open. Water born and air born diseases caused much suffering in that region of the world. In fact many people actually died each year from lack of resources. What I saw was my mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers all living a life of poverty.
I thought back to my corporate life and realized that I had spent all of my time fulfilling my own selfish desires. My life up until then was consumed by helping rich shareholders generate even more wealth.
I had it made. The company I worked for was paying for my car, my gas, my apartment, even my food. I could tell anyone what the Dow Jones index was at, I knew the stock prices of many of the major corporations. I knew the NBA official standings, what teams were making the playoffs, what players were being traded but one statistic that I had no interest in was how many people were dying each year because they didn't have enough food to eat. I realized in that moment that my priorities in life were completely out of balance. People were actually dying from poverty and I had no idea how many, yet I could tell you exactly how much money NBA players and the top CEOs made. The question that hit me then was what is most important in life? I vowed that my next action would be to help the people that needed help the most. The first thing I did was quit my job.