Why Bother To Labor At What You Love?
At some point in our childhood, all of us were asked the same question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” In other words, how do you plan to generate an income for yourself? The first time someone posed the question to me, I was startled. My teacher’s query pushed me into thinking about adulthood when I preferred to remain in childhood. Eventually though, we all grow up and find a way to support ourselves. Though I did not begin my adult life with any particular vocation in mind, I now get paid to labor at what I love and comes naturally for me; inspiring, guiding, and encouraging others to mature.
Generating an income is not the whole meaning of life, but even as a kid, I understood that earning a living was how most people purchased the goods and services they needed to live a safe, healthy, and happy life. My parents never paid me an allowance nor did they give monetary rewards for good grades on a report card. If I wanted personal spending money, then it was up to me to find work that paid a salary. I started out as a babysitter. But babysitting was not my forte. Parents never came back when they said, “We’ll be home by ten.” The hour of their return inevitably came and went. Then there was the unruly child or cranky baby who refused to go to sleep. In a short amount of time, I surmised this type of work was worthy of much higher wages which parents were unwilling to pay.
Growing a little older, more opportunities opened; service and manual labor. Housecleaning, house painting, nurses aid and waitressing jobs abounded. Though the work was steady and somewhat satisfying, my labor felt hollow. At someone’s suggestion, I extended my high school education, attending a two year college to earn an associate’s degree. My choices for job opportunities broadened and for a short while, I believed working with handicapped preschool children would be my career. But when I fell in love, married and started a family, my profession changed. Though mothers are not paid any wages to train, nurture and love their children, motherhood became my passion. It also became the training ground where I learned how to inspire, guide, and encourage others, namely my sons, to maturity. My labor did not feel trivial, but I could see the end of my job in sight. Mothering is not a lifelong career.
I knew my education was not finished and someday I would go back out into the work-a-day world. So, when our youngest son entered his second year of high school, I stepped back into the world of college. After earning a Bachelor’s degree, I still did not know what I wanted to be when I grew up. Then one day, as a teacher’s aide, when I sat next to a student helping them to stay on task, it occurred to me that the profession of teaching was calling to me and I answered. Now, I get paid to labor at what I love and what comes naturally to me; to inspire, guide, and encourage others to maturity.
Why bother to labor at what you love? It is worth knowing what vocation calls out to you since earning a living is how most of us live safe, healthy, and happy lives.