Sweat of your brow


    “There is a perennial nobleness, and even sacredness, in work,” wrote Thomas Carlyle. Blessed is he who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness; he has a life purpose. Labor is life.”

    Whether you like it or not, you have to work. For God said so: “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground” (Genesis 3:19).

    Adam, the first man, was given the job to take care of the Garden of Eden. All throughout the Bible, God has commanded man to work. In the Ten Commandments, He said, “Six days you shall labor and do all your work.”

    Voltaire said that work keeps us from three great evils: boredom, vice, and poverty. With that concept in mind, we can look at the benefits and understand that “you don’t ‘pay the price’ – you enjoy the benefits.”

    If you don’t work, you get nothing. I was reminded of a story told by Aesop. It goes this way: An old gardener was dying and sent for his two sons.

    He told the, “For years, our orchard has given the best of fruit – golden delicious fruit. Look at my calloused hands, worn by the spade.

    But you two have never done a day’s work in your lives. I’ll tell you what I had been doing: I have hidden a treasure in my orchard for you to find. It is not near the tree trunks; it is midway between the trees. It is yours for the trouble of digging, that’s all.”

    So, the father sent his two sons away and not longer afterwards he died. The orchard became the property of the sons. So without delay, they set to work to dig the treasure that had been promised them.

    They dug and dug, day after day, week after week. They dug up all the stones and picked out all the weeds.

    Rainy season passed and summer came and the trees were loaded with blossoms and perfume. After months came harvest time, but the brothers had not yet found the hidden treasure.

    A business man came to buy the fruit crop and he was astounded, “This is the finest crop I have ever seen,” he told them. “I’ll give you twenty bags of money for this crop.”

    That was more money than the two boys had ever seen in their life. They struck a bargain with the business man, took the bags of money, while the latter began to gather the fruit.

    He told them, “I’ll be glad to buy your crop next year again. You must have worked with your spades to produce such a crop.”

    When the business man went, the two boys sat looking at each other over the bags of money. Then they look down at their rough hands and smiled as one said, “You know, I think this is the treasure we’ve been digging for all year.”

    Henry Ward Beecher expounds it this way: “When God wanted sponges and oysters, He made them and put one on a rock and the other in the mud.

    When He made man, He did not make him to be a sponge or an oyster; He made him with feet and hands, and head and heart, and vital blood, and a place to use them, and He said to him, ‘Go work.’”

    But do some people are happy with the work they have while others are not. The answer is: they are in the wrong job.

    For twenty years, he worked in the “trenches” in hospital emergency rooms, only to find himself overwhelmed with a bad case of “burnout.”

    He describes his work this way: “It was years of screaming, dying, drunks, drug overdose, terminal cancer, and exhaustion.” It was at that time that Dr. Lance Gentile enrolled in the University of Southern California’s film school.

    While continuing to save lives on hospital late shifts, he tried his hand at writing a screenplay. State of Emergency was turned into an HBO movie.

    Then, the offer to be part of the successful popular television show, ER, came. He did not act in the series but part of his job was to monitor story lines to ensure no harm was done to make-believe patients or the show’s credibility.

    He made sure actors use correct terminology, hold instruments correctly, and have their X-rays right side up.

    Here’s a reminder from H.L. Neri on how you should treat your work: “If you don’t love your work, you’ll need three times the energy: to force yourself to work, to resist the force, and finally to work.”

    On the contrary, if you love your work, you don’t need that kind of energy. Neri puts it this way: “If you love your work, your desire to do it will be like a wind to propel your ship with much less fuel.”

    Not only that. “If you like your work, you work no more – for work, when you like it, is work no longer, but sheer enjoyment. If you enjoy your work, you’ll work and work without counting the hours.

    And you’ll reap and enjoy more earnings as well.” It’s like basketball player who is being paid while playing.

    By the way, a lot of people became rich and millionaire because they work – hard. They don’t believe in luck. The Laggard’s Excuse confirms the principle that the man who is born the luckiest is the man who doesn’t believe in luck – but in work! “He worked by day and toiled by night,” the poem states. “He gave up play and some delight.

    Dry books he read, new things to learn and forged ahead, success to earn. He plodded on with faith and pluck.

    And when he won, men called it luck.”

    Luck is always waiting for something to turn up. Work, on the other hand, with keen eyes and strong will, turns up something. Luck lies in bed and wishes the postman would bring him news of an unexpected inheritance.

    Work springs out of bed in the morning and lays the foundation for success with competence.

    For comments, write me at henrytacio@gmail.com


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