Since I quoted from Carl Jung last time, it’s only fair to quote one of Sigmund Freud’s most famous sayings: “Love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness.”
I plan to ponder out loud (my definition of blogging) about “work” for the next few days and weeks, having already sided with Gibran that work and love should be united. It turns out that many of my friends and readers agree–but not all of them, which is what makes conversations interesting.
A few weeks ago, I asked my Facebook friends what work means to them–as a way to enlarge my own perspective and give them a voice in this blog.
So I thought I would share here a handful of responses from Facebook friends who knew they were helping me to produce a blog post but who did so before I wrote the one on Gibran mentioned above.
Interestingly, Chris found an unsentimental, humorous, way to describe work as “love made visible.” Instead of flowery prose, he just said this: “I can’t call it work. It’s more like getting paid for your hobby. I play with very expensive technology. Shhhh…” You wouldn’t know from this response that Chris actually manages a large, complex information services department. From his perspective, work is play.
Chin questioned the very definition of work that does not include the work we do at home as parents. Why do we separate work and love, was her implied question? Is not our teaching and caring for our home and children work–even if we don’t get paid for it?
Kevin also pointed out the difference between the kind of work we do to develop ourselves and those around us and the work we are paid to do. He is fortunate to have an overlap between the two in his life. My guess is that the larger that overlap, the happier the person.
Tiff used a six-word memoir to describe her vocation, which she, too, distinguishes from her work even though she tries to live this calling every day and hopes that she will be remembered for these six words at her going home service: Love, live, light, serve, give, reflect.”
Finally, Joanne, had a great description of her work. As a campus pastor she has to explain what she does. Here’s what she says: “I minister to university students at a school affiliated with a small, misunderstood branch of Christianity.”
Often people ask again, “…but what do you DO?” That’s when I want to answer “Jesus work.”
How do you answer questions about your work? What role does it play in your life? How would you answer the question if you did not have a job?