A LeadChange "Best of Blogs" post, originally shared on KnowledgeBishop.com
A woman and her small boy are walking down a cobblestone path in the sweltering summer sun. As they round the bend, they come upon three men on their knees, each with a brick in one hand and a trowel in the other. "Mama, what are they doing?" asks the boy. "Why don't you ask them, darling?" she answers. Gingerly, the boy poses his question to the men.
The first answers: "I'm stacking one ROCK on top of another ROCK: same thing I've done for the last 30 years, kid!" The second says: "I'm earning an honest living, and providing a home and food for my wife and children." The third one looks up, with a gleam in his eyes and answers: "I'm building the most beautiful chapel ever made!"
Some of us are trapped in the drudgery of daily labor, haunted by a nagging sense that our work has no meaning at all. Others have accepted the reality that sustenance requires effort, and we shoulder the burden with resolve. But a select few have taken the time to search out how their daily efforts impact the big picture.
I have seldom been the first man, but I've spent many days as the second: Doing what must be done, in order to make ends meet. Far too few of us have become what we aspired to be as children: We wanted to be artists, astronauts and acrobats. But lately, I've found myself resembling that third man.
Where I work, we protect the innocent from those with ill intent. And, back when I was a kid, I wanted nothing more than to find my way into a seat on the Justice League council. Somehow, I have ended up doing that same work. My daily contribution is part of a unified effort to defend the decent from the degenerate.
Could it be that YOUR daily work is helping someone, significantly? If you take the time to figure out who and how, you just may see extra spring in your steps today. Perspective brings purpose, and purpose drives productivity.