14 Feb 2017
Today is Valentine's Day, the day when we celebrate love in all its forms, and particularly romantic love for a special other.
It's a shame that Valentine's Day falls in the middle of February. For us in the Northern hemisphere, it's still pretty damp and cold and not romantic at all. How much more fun it would have been if Valentine's Day fell in the middle of summer when we could all be out of doors in the sun, (well, you never know), with the love of our lives.
On the other hand, since Valentine's Day is not a national or public holiday here or anywhere else, it would make no difference when it was held. Most of us would still have to spend it at work.
So, for all of us who want to celebrate Valentine's Day today, there is only one option, and that is, to do your work with great love.
The poet, Kahlil Gibran, wrote about working with love in his 1923 book, "The Prophet". I always use Valentine's Day as an excuse to re-read his section on "On Work". I particularly like his description that work is "love made visible" and that labour is how we show that we love life.
So, to no one in particular, but everyone who works with love today, here is what he says:
You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.
For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons,
and to step out of life's procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.
When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.
Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?
Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune.
But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of earth's furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,
And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,
And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life's inmost secret.
And what is it to work with love?
It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart,
even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.
It is to build a house with affection,
even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.
It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy,
even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.
It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit,
And to know that all the blessed dead
are standing about you and watching.
Work is love made visible.
And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man's hunger.
And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distils a poison in the wine.
And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man's ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.
Isn't that beautiful? If you enjoyed this, why not read my newsletter on our sister site at ManageTrainLearn, called, "Small Things With Great Love". You'll find it here.
And have a happy Valentine's Day!