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Archive for September 2nd, 2013

GC Myers- The Task Met smallIf a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.

–Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Another Labor Day is here.  On this blog in the past I have bemoaned how the general public has forgot how much it owes to the labor movement, how the middle class that was the pride of this country during the middle of the last century was a direct result of hard fought gains from workers who banded together and stood against social injustice.  But today I just want to speak briefly about taking pride in one’s job, the same sentiment reflected in the quote above from Martin Luther King, Jr.

When I was a waiter in a pancake house, even after I had started showing my work in several galleries, I was always a waiter first when I was at my job.  Never a painter-slash-waiter, a title which served no purpose.  Circumstances had put me in this place at this time and I had determined that if I had to be there I would give it my complete attention and effort.  I would make it my own.  If I disliked it so much that it made me miserable, I would do something about changing my job when my day there was done and the task before me was complete.

 But while I was there, I treated it as though it were my destiny because, who knew, maybe it was.  I took great pride in being good at that job and some other jobs that I’ve done that could be classified as menial.  What was the cost in doing this?  If I had to be there then I would rather be recognized for my excellence rather than my misery.

Simply put, take pride in the task before you, however menial you see it.  Treat it as your destiny because in that very moment, it is.

Have a great Labor Day and remember what the day stands for.

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