On Work

Mother told us to always have the initiative, so we grew up asking “Can I help?” when it came to work duties. Truly, we were blessed to be surrounded with people who loved work and valued it with integrity. And while we loved to assist most of the time, we have learned about accepting duties.

When we were students, some of us were taught to obey parents and finish the course they preferred for us. Often, we did not like that way but still abided. I remember I told my mother “I do not like your teaching profession because it is boring and common. It earns so little and it is not even glamorous.”

I was blasphemous at that. I am sorry. I did not even consider her love for work. And because of her noble teaching profession we were able to finish college (she was widowed at 37). She paved her way to the fulfillment of our goals teaching her students well.

Now I am a teacher. And of course, I also pursued on becoming a writer.

Writing was my main profession in my days of work and younger years where I found fulfillment. I remember for many years I taught at the seminary half day and I reported for magazines and newspapers half day as a contributing writer. In the evening, I tutored foreign students online or man to man. I thank God for giving me the grace to love my work, not for rewards but for the inspiration it offered me to live my daily grind day after day. There were times I slept for only three or four hours and I never regretted this. I embraced all the circumstances that came with my duty in the thought of also serving the teachings of God.

Work is something from the heart you offer. It is not just for money, but serving God. It fills the vacuum in the heart and gives you zeal. The fruits of its labor becomes pure when it is done out of that sacred oath to duty, so that is why we pray for what we dream or want to be when we grow up.

The stories of Woolworth and Og Mandino counting cents and going the extra mile show us examples of good work habits. The leadership and success books of Napoleon Hill and Hopkins encourage people to get rid of laziness and focus on goals.

To make kids aware of their duties, I tell them the story about the Lazy Juan. The story of Lazy Juan is a Filipino folktale. Juan always laid down under a guava tree and waited for the guavas to fall so he could eat them. He was so lazy that he wanted comfort all the time, even telling the crabs to walk home instead of carrying them in a basket.

So what is it to work with love? Kahlil Gibran says, “It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit, and to know that all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching.”

Sometimes, it is not working at all when you love your duties. It comes out naturally in your day to day life with the aid of angels.

Lord, sustain us and let us serve you well.

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