1: Activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a result.
2: A task or tasks to be undertaken.
3: A thing or things done or made; the result of an action.
4: A place or premises in which industrial or manufacturing processes are carried out.
5: The operative part of a clock or other machine.
6: Military: A defensive structure.
7: Physical: The exertion of force overcoming resistance or producing molecular change.
8: as in the works: Everything needed, desired, or expected.
Work (n.): Old English weorc, worc “something done, discreet act performed by someone, action (whether voluntary or required), proceeding, business; that which is made or manufactured, products of labor,” also “physical labor, toil; skilled trade, craft, or occupation; opportunity of expending labor in some useful or remunerative way;” also “military fortification,” from Proto-Germanic werkan “work,” from Proto-Indo-European werg-o-, suffixed form of root werg- “to do.”
In c. 1200, the meanings were: “physical effort, exertion,” “scholarly labor” or “artistic labor.” Meaning “labor as a measurable commodity” is from c. 1300. Meaning “embroidery, stitchery, needlepoint” is from late 14th century. Work of art attested by 1774 as “artistic creation,” earlier (1728) “artifice, production of humans (as opposed to nature).” Work ethic recorded from 1959. To be out of work “unemployed” is from 1590s. To make clean work of is from 1300; to make short work of is from 1640s. Proverbial expression many hands make light work is from 1300. To have (one’s) work cut out for one is from 1610s: to have prepared and prescribed, hence, to have all one can handle. Work in progress is from 1930 in a general sense, earlier as a specific term in accountancy and parliamentary procedure.
“Work without love is slavery.”
Mother Teresa (1910-1997, canonized as the Saint Teresa of Calcutta, one of the greatest humanitarians of the 20th century, nun, and founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic congregation of women dedicated to helping the poor)
“Out of clutter, find simplicity.”
Albert Einstein (1879—1955, German-American physicist who developed the special and general theories of relativity, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921 for his explanation of the photoelectric effect; considered the most influential physicist of the 20th century)
“One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.”
Bertrand Russell (1872—1970, British philosopher, logician, and social reformer, founding figure in the analytic movement in Anglo-American philosophy, and recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1950)
“There is no time for cut-and-dried monotony. There is time for work. And time for love. That leaves no other time.”
Coco Chanel (1883-1971, French fashion designer and businesswoman; founder and namesake of the Chanel brand)
“Make your work to be in keeping with your purpose”
Leonardo da Vinci (1452—1519, Italian painter, draftsman, sculptor, architect, and engineer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal)
“Inspiration usually comes during work rather than before it.”
Madeleine L'Engle (1918-2007, writer and author of children's books)
“Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action. ”
William James (1842-1910, physician and known as the "Father of American psychology,"; one of the leading thinkers of the late nineteenth century and is believed by many to be one of the most influential philosophers; the first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States; best known for his twelve-hundred page masterwork, The Principles of Psychology)
“Work without love is slavery.”
I’ve been thinking a great deal about work, not only from standpoint of being paid, but from a deeper desire to be of more service and to be aligned to my true self.
Generally, I love helping others, gleaning and synthesizing information, sharing my stories, and facilitating wellbeing on whatever levels I have the capacities to do so.
Lately, I’ve been reflecting upon my professional career in hopes of creating a new vision for the future. There were two positions early in my career that I enjoyed, mainly because I was creative and valued for the work I contributed. After graduating from college, I worked as an office manager for a doctor’s office. I then worked as a marketing assistant at a prestigious off-Broadway theater in NYC.
As an office manager for an oncologist, it was tough work. But, I learned so much, especially of how to be more loving, kind, and compassionate to those who were in the battle of their lives against cancer. Honestly, what I did was not so exciting, but I knew it was important work. It was about being of service and a part of healing movement that was bigger than myself. In addition, I worked for a great doctor who had a loving and supportive family. I also got to learn more about the disease that took my mother’s life when I was child. Working at a highly regarded NYC hospital also gave me access to the best doctors in the field, which I really needed at the time.
After giving birth to my son and being a stay-at-home mom, I pursued position in the arts, and accepted a receptionist position at a prestigious nonprofit theater company, which was something I always dreamed of doing. There I met a lot of gifted, creative, and famous people. Because I worked enthusiastically, I was able to see how else I could contribute to the organization. I asked to help with one of their grants and with building a cultural diverse audience, which the theater company accepted. It was fun to carve out a niche and to meet different people from many different communities.
Work should be imbued with the intention of love unless it will become a drudgery and a prison of one’s own inflicted misery.
Some of the ways we can magnify our love in our work are through:
- our abilities to create happiness and long-lasting joy,
- expanding wherever possible the flexibility of time and space,
- being of service by thoughtful and intentional actions,
- listening unconditional and deeply,
- respecting (and loving) the people we work with, and
- sustaining safe and healthy work environments.
Sojourners, let’s continue to dream big, by showing up to work in love and restoring what is needed.
Faithfully Yours, Tonya