" 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 was an Lebanese American artist, poet and writer. Born in Lebanon in 1883 he moved to Boston in 1895. His thoughts and writings influenced a wide variety of people. John Kennedy famous inaugural speech contained a revised quote from Gibran's book, “The Frontier, " which said, “Are you a politician asking what your country can do for you, or a zealous one asking what you can do for your country. " John Lennon used another altered quote for his song Julia in 1968, "Half of what I say is meaningless, but I say it so the other half may reach you. " Kahlil Gibran is best known for his work, “The Prophet, " which has been translated into more than 20 different languages. His quote about work strikes a nerve within me, I never really looked at work as love made visible. I have worked for many years and I must admit many of those years were not filled with love, by any definition. I thought more about what it could do for me, and took advantage of the resources that were placed in front of me. It was more of a burden than an expression of love. I thought it was there for me to abuse, to be angry with and be fearful of, it was rarely a pleasant experience. My thoughts and beliefs kept me from understanding that the daily work I was performing was an act of love. I made it a place of pain instead.
I did learn the lesson that Gibran explains, work is certainly love in full view. It is a service I accept, in order to fulfill my desires, and I'm paid for that opportunity. I am able to interact with people in many different situations and learn about diversity. I deal with contrast on a daily basis, and understand how to cope with it. I feel the happiness and joy that accomplishment brings, and strive to live my life feeling that way. I see myself in the eyes of others and feel the warmth of friendship. Work is a prayer answered, when I believe it is. Not for the external rewards alone, but for the growth I give to myself.
I'm working now and all I see is love. All I feel is friendship. All I am is what I see. I do that with my thoughts and beliefs. They make my world a sweat shop, or a magic shop. In physical life, work is an expression of love. Love is All There Is, when I become it.
Hal Manogue is a poet and author of Short Sleeves A Book For Friends. Insightful thoughts for the 21st century. Hal's 2006 collection and 2007 collection are available in bookstores and online. Visit Hal's website: http://www.shortsleeves.net or blog: http://halmanogue.blogspot.com/ for more information about his work and life. Download a copy of the new E-Book, "Unite To Write" a collection of articles written by writers around the globe, that will inspire and fill you with useful information. It's value is priceless. It's Hal's gift to you.