Aren’t people fascinating! Some have the capacity to breathe life into you, their very presence lifts your spirits … and then there are others! Let me give you an example of what I mean.
A new employee asked his supervisor what it was like to work for this company. She replied with a question of her own: “What was it like at your last job?” “Oh,” said the new worker, “it was a miserable job. I didn’t like the work and the bosses were unfair to me.” “Unfortunately,” responded the young lady, “you’ll find it much the same here.”
Later, another new worker asked the same supervisor exactly the same questions: “What is it like to work here?” the young lady once again answered with the counter question, “What was it like at your last job?” “Oh,” said the new worker, “it was wonderful. The work was interesting, everybody was good to me. The working conditions were ideal.” “Well,” said the supervisor, “I’m happy to report that you will find this place just as wonderful as the last place where you worked.”
I guess the question I’m posing as we head off into another year is … which person do we most resemble? Do we bring life or suck life from people? Are we others-focused or me- centred? Are we humble or arrogant? As we ponder on those questions let me leave you with a poem from Thomas Dekker, the 17th century dramatist. It is simply entitled ‘My Purpose’.
To awaken each morning with a smile brightening my face;
To greet each day with reverence for the opportunities it contains;
To approach my work with a clean mind;
To hold ever before me, even in the doing of little things,
The Ultimate Purpose toward which I am working;
To meet men and women with laughter on my lips and love in my heart;
To be gentle, kind and courteous through all the hours;
To approach the night with weariness that ever woos sleep,
And the joy that comes from work well done
This is how I desire to waste wisely my days.