This is a guest post by Patrick Sweet, P.Eng.
I was recently reminded of a parable I had heard many years ago. In the story, there are three bricklayers working on a wall for a church. Someone asks the first bricklayer what he’s doing. He says, “I’m building a wall.” The second bricklayer is asked the same question and replies, “I’m building a church.” Finally, the third bricklayer is asked what he’s doing, and he says, “I’m building the house of God.”
What do the three men’s answers tell us about how they perceive their work? The first bricklayer’s answer is focused on the task and nothing more. He sees bricklaying as a job. The second bricklayer sees the bigger picture and knows he’s making an important contribution to the project as a whole. He sees his occupation as a career. The third bricklayer sees his work as being integral to changing people’s lives for the better. He sees his work as a calling.
All three men are doing the same work from an outsider’s perspective, but their internal dispositions are all very different.