labour day and gratitude and why they go together.

I’d like to tell you a story today, it’s a parable of the 3 stone-cutters.

Many, many, years ago a traveler came across 3 stone cutters and asked them what they were doing.

The first one said he was miserable cutting stones. He said it was the hardest job in the world and he barely made enough to eat. The traveler gave him a coin and continued on his way. 

The second one was very focused on his work. When asked what he was doing, he said he was the best stone cutter in the country and although the work was hard he was satisfied and able to make enough to take care of his family. The traveler praised him and gave him a coin.

When the traveler met the third stone cutter, he noticed he was sweaty and dusty but singing a cheerful song. The traveler was stunned and asked him “What are you doing?” The stone-cutter looked up at him with a gleam in his eye and said, “Can’t you see? I’m building a cathedral.”

All of the stone-cutters were doing the same work, but it was how they perceived the value of their work that created their experience of it. If your perception is that it’s a useless crappy task that makes not difference, you will be miserable. If you take pride in what you are doing and see how it benefits those you love, you will be satisfied. If you see yourself in the larger picture of how your efforts are going to affect 100’s if not 1000’s of people to come, you will be inspired!

 “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” 
– Martin Luther King Jr.


At first, you might have not have thought the stone-cutters had a very important job, yet a cathedral would not be possible without them. It is not the architects that create cathedrals, but the men who are cutting the stones and putting the building together.

Our whole existence is built on the backs of those who came before us and those around us. 

From the cloth on our bodies woven in a factory by real people, to the manufacturers, designers, exporters, shippers, shop owners, and clerks that eventually sell us our clothes: it all comes from someone’s work. All of our comforts whether it’s the cars that we drive, the streets we drive upon, the houses we live in, everything was built by someone.

It is noble work and we should be grateful.

We have this myth of independence in our culture, which is of course a lie. We are interdependent.

We didn’t come into the world walking around and taking care of ourselves, and we don’t live in the world without each other either.

A real person graded your street, laid your floor, grew your food, drives your bus, brings your mail. Your life as you know it would not be possible without people doing the jobs that support your very existence.

Although Labour Day is originally a day of celebrating and campaigning for worker’s rights, this is also a day of reflection, and gratitude for all the people who make your life as you know it.

So to you, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for cutting my hair, selling me food, clothes, and things I don’t need but really want. Thank you for providing me with safe streets to drive on, sidewalks to walk my puppy on, and pathways to run on. Thank you for trimming my trees, pouring my driveway, changing the oil in my car and its tires twice a year. Thank you for keeping public bathrooms clean, washing floors, fixing computers, and teaching me how to do new things and old things better. Thank you for clearing snow, fixing signs, putting out fires (real and figurative), keeping us safe, and fixing my cranky back. Thank you everyone who makes my life easier, more interesting, and more enjoyable.

I am forever grateful. You make possible the life I lead today.

I’d love to hear from you now! What are you grateful for today that is dependent on other people’s efforts? You can share over here on my blog.

Gratitude is contagious, so I challenge you today to share this on Facebook, or Tweet on Twitter: What are 5 things you are grateful for that are dependent on the work of others? Remember to tag me so I can read them!

I hope you had a wonderful long weekend my friend and I look forward to seeing your gorgeous self very soon!

Love and Light,
t

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