“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
One of my most important discoveries early in life was that doing work that uplifts humanity is more fulfilling than any other form of employment. Exactly what jobs and industries fall into that category is up to the individual, but fail to make that determination and choose instead on the basis of income level, societal or even personal preferences and other such determinants, and you will more than likely end up regretting your choice.
When you dedicate yourself to a higher purpose in your professional career, you realize immediately that you are doing something that matters, laboring with dignity and importance. Such a recognition puts everything else into perspective. Function without a sense of purpose rarely imparts meaning to the doer. Conversely, labor with purpose allows a certain part of you to rest in the assurance that you are bringing value through your living.
In my present position I find myself constantly thanking my lucky stars for the privilege of working in an industry that fundamentally cares about people. We work to improve the health and wellbeing of our clients and their medical practices and they work in turn to assist patients to live healthier lives. More often than not we find that people who move through a healing process have a more positive outlook on life and tend to make better, healthier choices once healed. Simply healing people without giving them the encouragement and tools to improve upon what they were doing that landed them the illness in the first place is not good enough.
I challenge you, dear readers, to assess the nature of your present work and to ask yourself if what you are doing truly uplifts humanity or if you are just doing it at the moment to keep food on the table and a roof over your head. Take care that you do not settle for merely existing, for you were born to live, to create and to add value!
5 thoughts on “Labor with Purpose”
It is sad that the common outlook finds a negative correlation between work that uplifts humanity and making a good living. People get suckered into a soul crushing job because it has a good paycheck. This in turn allows them to be comfortable, provide for their family, etc., but it is a lie. If you do something that has no value to you, then you will never reach your potential as a person, which will unavoidably show in all the facets of your life. You don’t have to do what you love, but you do have to do something that makes you proud to do it.
Great point, Colin.
The heavens are to be forever thanked if one is fortunate enough to find the vessel in life that can be filled with purpose and passion. The last sentence of the penultimate paragraph is worth its weight in pure gold!
I’ve known several people who have actually changed their careers to join the health field after recovering from challenging illnesses themselves. They were so inspired by the care given them that they wanted to dedicate their lives to helping others in the same way. That attitude of appreciation has been inspiring to me to examine my own opportunities for service, because you are right – it is more fulfilling, and we have one shot to make the most of each moment. Thanks for a great post!
Sometimes people fail to see the connection between their job and the greater good. If it’s honest work and a cog in the wheel of forward movement, I think it can be seen for it’s value to the larger picture. An example to me is a person I notice at the grocery store that manages one department. Her concern to have what the customer wants is matchless but what I really appreciate is the obvious enjoyment and enthusiasm she shows when she stocking shelves, cleaning and generally maintaining her area. I could cite other examples I notice like a landscaper, builder or cook that each seem to value their contributions. If we have an understanding of our own purpose then most everything we might do can become imbued with it.
Great blog, thanks.