“Work is love made visible. / And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.” – Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet (1923)
I think that this is one of the most beautiful statements ever written about work or about love. The genius of Gibran is how he united the two, and so poetically.
Dad introduced me to the work of Gibran long ago, in the late 1970’s, I believe. I thought I had a copy of The Prophet inscribed by Dad, but I don’t.
Now, if you love what you do for a living, I am very happy for you.
Now, if you hate what you do for a living, why? Can you focus on the good things about the work you do? Can you re-engineer your attitude in light of the fact that so many are out of work or have been unemployed for extended periods of time? If not, it is time to update your résumé. Better yet, can you expand one of your hobbies into a business opportunity? Can you provide a needed service?
We hear the admonishment to “Follow your bliss.” We hear the claim “Do what you love and the money will follow.” What relationship do these statements have to making a living? You might think that you have to work hard to make a living, and that’s just the way it is. However, the above statements have everything to do with making a living. I believe that a re-statement of “… and the money will follow” is called for; a key is an examination of how we make, value, and spend our money.
If “work is not love made visible” for us, we are likely not doing what we are called to do. If we are not working at something we want to do, we “aren’t making a living, we’re making a dying.” (Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez with Monique Tilford, Your Money or Your Life: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Achieving Financial Independence, 2008 revised and updated edition).
I met Vicki Robin in January 2009, and she is a kind person and I think very aware of the transformation she and Joe Dominguez unleashed in millions of people’s lives over the years since the original edition of their book was published in 1992. She has become a key thinker on sustainable development and founder of many organizations working on transitions to sustainable development.
Hope, love, and transformation are keys to my thinking and to this blog. Our work – if it lies at the intersection of these things – can be a source of great joy. My blog is largely about these … and books.
Do you want to change your life for the better beginning right now? If you haven’t read Your Money or Your Life, obtain a copy of this book, read it, and follow the nine steps as outlined! If you’ve read it, follow the nine steps!
My hope for you is that your work becomes love made visible.