JOBS ARE WHAT PEOPLE DO for a living, many of them for eight hours a day, five days a week, minus vacations, for most of their lives. It is tragic to think how few of them have their hearts in it. They work mainly for the purpose of making money enough to enjoy their moments of not working.

If not working is the chief pleasure they have, you wonder if they wouldn't do better just to devote themselves to that from the start. They would probably end up in breadlines or begging, but, even so, the chances are they would be happier than they would be pulling down a good salary as a bank teller or a dental technician or a supermarket bagger and hating every minute of it.

"What do people gain from all the toil at which they toil under the sun?" asks the Preacher (Ecclesiastes 1:3). If people are in it only for the money, the money is all they gain, and when they finally retire, they may well ask themselves if it was worth giving most of their lives for. If they're doing it for its own sake—if they enjoy doing it and the world needs it done—it may very possibly help to gain them their own souls.

-Originally published in Whistling in the Dark and later in Beyond Words

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