Lawrence Smith is the author of”A Quaker Book of Wisdom” –Life Lessons in Simplicity, Service, and Common Sense.
In his epilogue he gives us Ten Life Lessons from our Quaker Legacy:
#7: Make Your Love Visible In The World Through Your Work.
I find it interesting that a little movie titled “Return to Me” with David Duchovny and Minnie Driver had a line delivered by Carroll O’Connor (when someone said something about him working too hard) in total Irish Brogue:
“Oh, no. I’m blessed with my work.”
That may not be the exact quote, but very close. I will disclose that when I heard Mr. O’Connor deliver that line, it just seemed to “stick” with me. I often think of it when I want to grumble about some task that I don’t want to have to do at the moment, or to be fair, ever again.
How very fortunate to see each of our daily tasks as being blessed to be able to engage in them. Sometimes it takes a gentle reminder to know how much I enjoy cleaning the house, or picking up dog poop, or going back to check if I really locked the door. Little tasks. All a part of our daily routines.
Our more visible to the world (if this is taken literallly) tasks usually gain more of our attention for ways that we can enjoy them. We seem to spend more effort in achieving harmony with our work world than our daily home small tasks. Why is that? When the people we care about the most in the world are at home, watching us attending to our daily tasks.
If I needed added inducement to find blessings attached to my work, all I have to do is think about being so disabled that I can no longer perform these tasks. The reality of being so impaired is enough for me to have a moment of thanks and gratefulness that I am able to participate fully in life.
Work comes in many forms. From sweeping the floor to sitting on a committee. From spreading peanut butter on sandwiches to going to lunch with the boss. When we challenge ourselves to find love in each task, at home, at work, with our kids, with our peers, with ourselves, we will achieve an inward sense of fulfilment AND be mentoring the same to all those eyes who watch us. Especially our children.
Be gentle with yourself and know that your children are watching.