Consider the story of two stonemasons.
You walk up to the first stonemason and ask, ‘Do you like your job?’. He looks up at you and replies, ‘I’ve been building this wall for as long as I can remember. The work is monotonous and I work in the scorching hot sun all day. The stones are heavy and lifting them day after day can be backbreaking. I’m not even sure if this project will be completed in my lifetime. But its a job. It pays the bills.’
You thank him for his time and walk on…
About thirty feet away, you walk up to a second stonemason. You ask him the same question, ‘Do you like your job?’. He looks up and replies, ‘I love my job. I’m building a cathedral. Sure, I’ve been working on this wall for as long as I can remember, and yes, the work is sometimes monotonous. I work in the scorching hot sun all day. The stones are heavy and lifting them day after day can be backbreaking. I’m not even sure if this project will be completed in my lifetime. But I’m building a cathedral.’
Now this is not a story of ‘choose to be optimistic, it feels better’. We know optimism is good for us and we certainly don’t need two stonemasons to tell us that.
The meaning of this story is deeper.
The story told the fate of someone who would work to pay the bills. The other would work for something bigger than himself.
You see, it’s not what we physically or rationally do that is inspiring. But rather our own interpretation of it. The second stonemason had worked for a cause that was bigger than himself. Even if we rationally build a stonewall, like all the other stonemasons, his vision was much greater and far exceeding than those of others.
Building a cathedral was not his job. It was his calling.
What is yours?
Let me know in the comments below! 🙂