The things we do in our every day lives mean something. Though, it seems one doesn’t have to walk very far to hear someone say “I’ll have a better job one day.” I have been one of these people, and have found myself saying just that phrase on more than one occasion. The words themselves have value, just as we do, but the intent of how we mean them is just as important.
When I was at high school I had a job working at the local supermarket. I enjoyed this job because I saw it as a chance to engage in human interactions with many different people. There was no belief what I was doing would lead to a higher paid job at the same supermarket, or that I would find something “better” in another workplace, but I believed after I finished school, and then university, and had experience in a few jobs under my belt, I would eventually find the job I would work at for forty hours, five days a week, for the majority of my working life.
There is no obligation for this to be how our lives work. We may end up working for a large proportion of our adult lives so it will be helpful if it is something we find some value in, and is something that sees some value in us. This value must be more than financial, although this can be a useful drawcard and is not inherently a bad thing. We can gain relational, emotional, physical, spiritual, mental value from work we do. In the world we live, however, money is more often than not necessary for us to support ourselves and our family and friends, so can be seen as having a higher importance at times. Hence people sometimes search for a job which will earn them more money, what they might term a “better job.” Here, the intent of what we mean when we say the word “better” is important. If it is to earn money for the sake of having more this will not help us be more content. If it is to have prestige to be seen as more important, without a genuine purpose, then we will find ourselves continuously searching for more. If it is to widen our social circle there might be a temptation to be someone we are not o fit in. These are some potential outcomes. Some different outcomes might be: Earning more money to help reduce worry for ourselves and our family and have enough to help others. Building a reputation to drive positive change on important issues like climate change, poverty, and education. Making new friends to help end isolation, learn from each other, and cooperate to make a better world for us all to live in.
Intent is important. Including in the words we say to others, and to ourselves.
Striving for something better means different things to different people, and the only way we can learn what this is for each of us is by communicating with each other. The way the current world works, if there were no workers in the supermarket obtaining food would be difficult for a large portion of the population of some countries. Providing the opportunity for others to purchase food; providing physical value. If there were no workers in the filing departments of government organisations, important applications for passports and legal proceedings would go unprocessed. Providing the opportunity to travel and interact in a coherent way with others; providing relational and emotional value. If there were no cleaners in offices many organisations work the environments would likely be less healthy than they currently are. Providing peace of mind and comfort; providing mental and physical value. There are many jobs which might seem “less valuable” than others but I assure you, what you are doing means something to more people than you realise.
One of my favourite examples of this was President John F. Kennedy asking someone carrying a broom during a tour he was on while at the NASA space center.
“Hi, I’m Jack Kennedy. What are you doing?” he asked.
“Well, Mr. President,” the janitor responded, “I’m helping put a man on the moon.”
Acknowledge the good you are doing for yourself, and for others. Getting out bed is the first step to the greatness we will achieve any given day. Engaging in real and meaningful conversation, having a coffee with a friend, embarking on our next creative project, making new friends. Processing a passport application for someone going to visit their relatives, filling a food order for a hungry customer, providing legal advice for someone starting a new company, praying to God and listening for answers. All of these things provide different kinds of value, to different people, in different ways.
There is awesomeness in the world if we open our minds to the possibilities we can achieve by cooperating with each other, by communicating and working together. Let’s take these from being possibilities in our minds to reality.
We have value. We give value. We are valuable.
Be good, keep good, and sleep good, dear readers. Peace.