This I Believe

Karen - Falls Church, Virginia
Entered on October 18, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: purpose, work

The Power of Work

I believe that work strengthens the individual. On a personal level, the process of work can be invigorating, empowering, and sometimes healing.

At the most basic level, this is easily observed in the manners of small children. I remember visiting my friend, Susan, when her son, Will, was two-years-old. As we sat in their backyard, he picked up a bucket and said he was going to help collect gumballs, which are those bristly round brown things dropped from gum trees. Susan explained that this was Will’s job in helping with the family yard work. As I watched this earnest little boy, I remember remarking to myself that it is really so, that a person, every person, needs a purpose and a role in their community.

There are times in my own professional life when the last thing I want to do is get up in the morning and go to the office. Whatever I may be going through, whether it is headache, heartache, or some other personal trauma, the temptation to stay home, eating junk food, and watching daytime television is strong, indeed. However, after heavy mental coaxing and self-cheerleading, I manage to get to my desk. Sometimes, I’m there with my hair un-brushed, or in the same outfit I wore two days earlier, but I’m there, nonetheless. By mid-morning, I transform into a different person – a full-fledged, contributing member of society. After a cup of coffee, hallway chat, and review of my task list, I feel like I can conquer anything, in spite of myself. At the end of the day, I always recognize that the time not spent on overindulging inner thoughts and fixating on personal issues has actually helped the process of managing them. I know it isn’t always so easy. It takes practice just like everything else. However, I believe that it is in this motion of practicing, of striving, of pursuing, that can be a vehicle for personal growth and wellness.