Working with Love
“As we live, we are transmitters of life.
And when we fail to transmit life, life fails to flow through us.
And if, as we work, we can transmit life into our work,
life, still more life, rushes into us to compensate, to
be ready and we ripple with life through the days...
Give and it shall be given unto you
is still the truth about life...
It means kindling the life-quality where it was not,
even if it’s only in the whiteness of a washed pocket handkerchief.”
Most of us think of work as something we do to earn a living. We go there, we labor, and we are paid for that labor. Some of us love the work we do, and some of us hate to get up on Monday morning. In all honesty, all work includes days of anxiety and frustration, days of utter boredom, and between the two, days of engaged curiosity and enjoyment. What we bring to our work makes all the difference.
There is a large construction site near my house. A complex of condos and retail establishments is being built in a location I pass everyday. One of the jobs there is traffic control. When a large earth moving machine or a front-end loader hauling a stack of plywood needs to pull out into the roadway, two guys with Stop and Slow signs step into the street and hold up traffic. Day after day, month after month, in cold and in heat, they are there. When traffic is flowing, they stand on the sidewalk and wait for the construction crew to need their services. Now, this is not a job I think I'd be happy doing, but one of those guys waves to passers by, smiles and seems to enjoy himself. The other one, not so much. Which of the two do you think goes home at the end of the day feeling energized and “rippling with life?”
One of the most enjoyable work experiences of my life was as a teacher in a sheltered workshop. There, fifty or so men and women with significant mental and physical challenges sorted nuts, bolts and screws into containers, ground solder off machine parts, and wrapped plastic utensils for fast food restaurants. On average, they earned a few of dollars a week. To the person, they took great pride in their work and celebrated each other's successes. I sometimes went out and worked on the line along side them, and they were always faster and more accurate than I—a source of much hilarity. That workshop rang with laughter and great love, and teaching there was a joyful experience.
Some of our work places are not so happy. Too many of us carry resentment and negativity that poisons the environment. It is sometimes difficult to realize that the attitude we bring to our work determines our experience there. When we feel honored to be productive, then our experience will be positive regardless of what kind of work we do. It is really up to us to determine whether we will be transmitters of life, or not. We do that by working with enthusiasm and gratitude.
In the Spirit,