Friday, January 22, 2010

"The Enhancement of Human Dignity"

"Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all."      --Sam Ewing

The greatest of the dreamers are those who stop dreaming. The greatest of dreamers are those who wake up and simply "get at it." Yes, there is great power upon the drawing boards of the mind. Yet, the moving force, thereof, stands dependent upon human exertion combined with the will to bring something forth.

Work is a virtue I value. That value has increased as I have pondered its purpose and tested its yield. Gordon B. Hinckley, a perpetual optimist and former President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints referred to work as being "the enhancement of human dignity." Would you agree? Think of it. Work is the means by which our sense of worth and self-respect is amplified. Work purifies us.

Read about Nathanael Greene. Mr. Greene was the youngest of the generals that constituted the American army during the revolution. He took lead as a general at the age of 33. He grew up in Rhode Island as a foundry worker having never obtained formal education--something he longed for in his youth. Instead, he gathered a personal library that allowed him to study military science and leadership. Nathanael Greene kept at it. 

In the midst of the cynical, Greene was not viewed as the officer type largely due to a limp in his right leg. He kept at it once more, marching drills month after month. Quickly, his diligence gave way to his knowledge and skill opening doors for him to become a leader and an eventual mentor to General George Washington. Finally, Greene later told John Adams that whatever he lacked in knowledge and skill he made up for with "watchfulness and industry" (See 1776 by David McCullough, pg. 20-24).

Nathanael Greene used "watchfulness and industry" to rise above the so-called barriers of circumstance. From him we learn that work is a lifting force in life. As we stand forthright and keep at it we will find great joy in the daily hum-drum. The principle of work holds deeper import beyond its surface. It is much more than forty hours on a time card. Perhaps work is a precursor to the human soul's yearning to create. True fulfillment in work is begotten when it is done in a manner where the mind can be enlightened with new ideas, where the heart can be bolstered with refined desires, and the the smile can become wider, brighter, and more real. As we work we become enlarged in our capacity to create. Truly, work is "the enhancement of human dignity." Keep at it!


cskelton said...

Love your thoughts. As a 'youngster' I used to think the time would come when I could just not have to do anything. Now that I'm all alone with no one to care for, no 'jobs' or work that is pressing, there is joy in something to do. The work I find myself trying to get to on a daily basis is Family History, of which there are volumes to write. Whatever the work it is most pleasant to involve myself.

Tami said...

Very nice article!! Two thumbs up!

Anonymous said...

Travis nice blog. Dream big.