Thursday, October 23, 2008


Dear Joseph,

I am sorry I haven't written lately. I have been concerned with work. I know, I am retired, but I would like to be useful and wouldn't mind earning a bit of money. Being 67 years old and away from medicine for a while, it is hard for me to find something for which I am comfortable and can do well.

Work is an interesting thing, even for you at such a young age. What it means for you now is that Dad is often away, and I know how you and Mom miss him. Why does he do that? Because he loves you and is willing to work hard to provide you with the important things in life. That's why most dad's and mom's work, for the sake of their children and themselves. He also does it out of self respect. He wants to take care of the things in his life because he feels that is his responsibility.

Interestlingly, half of the people in our country are unhappy at work. Some don't think they are paid enough and some don't like their bosses or coworkers. Since you (like myself) will spend most of your adult life at work, it is most important that you find work that you love. Sure, you need to get a fair salary and decent treatment, but it is still the work that matters.

For me, I used several things to decide on what I wanted to be when I grew up. First, I had to be interested in what I was doing it. There is nothing wrong with digging ditches for a living...if digging ditches is satisfying work for you. Next, I wanted to do work that mattered. Although all work matters, my work had to matter to me. If I would have become a car salesman and made a million dollars from it, it would not have felt as if I had done something that mattered, something that mattered to me and the rest of the world.

It is also important to be proud of what you do. Earning a lot of money by dishonest means is, in my judgment, shaming and damaging to the soul. It doesn't matter what you do as long as you do it the best you can. If you are going to be a dish washer, be a good dish washer and earn your money. And don't be ashamed of what ever you do, even if others judge it to be a lowly job. All work is good work.

Men in our society generally identify themselves by the work they do. They will meet you and say, "I am in sales," or some such thing. To them selves, they are salesmen. I am a doctor, but a doctor is not who I am. Who I happen to be, my values and beliefs, would be the same if I was a carpenter. The same is true for you, Joseph. First learn who you are, what your soul needs and what your vision for yourself in this world will be. That is and will always be who you are. Then seek work that fulfills that vision, and be proud of yourself for doing so.

Papa loves you.

1 comment:

Joe said...

More. Please.