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Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Work can be drudgery - dispiriting, suffocating, and de-energizing.  Or, it can be the opposite of all those things.  

What is the difference?  It's what we choose to glean from our work that makes all the difference in the world.  If our objectives are to just put in the hours, clock-in and clock-out, earn a paycheck, pay the bills, move slowly toward retirement, then work will most assuredly be unfulfilling.  

If, on the other hand, we choose to undergird our work (no matter its nature) with higher purpose, then we can approach it with much more aplomb than when our motives are purely material, pragmatic, and/or superficial. 

An example is a screen printing company I consulted with a few years ago.  One way to look at that business is to see it as simply painting fabric and clothing, for profit.  That's it.  Another way to view that work is to see it as a partnership with communities, schools, churches, and families dedicated to helping them express themselves, communicate their uniqueness, and celebrate their common pursuits.  Same business, two different views. 

The story of Johnny the Bagger is a powerful testimony to this dynamic.  Ditto for Trudy, who I worked with in a large high school.  And, Manny, the guy who loads my truck at the feed store every week.  You've seen 'em.  You know 'em.  They make a difference, no matter their job title or work assignment. 

Work can, and should, bring redemptive purpose to our endeavors.  At the end of the day, all noble and purposeful work is about serving others, somehow, some way.  We can do this.  

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