“Life is no brief candle, it’s a torch. I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
I saw this quote by George Bernard Shaw on Twitter over the weekend. Someone sent it to me after reading my blog posts about my trip to Costa Rica and my plans for the future. Thinking of life as a torch, something we can and should wield as a powerful instrument to light up the world around us, reinforced my belief that if we are just subsisting and not doing our life’s work every day, then a change is necessary, sooner rather than later. As my mom often says, “we will not pass this way again. So make this pass count as much as you can.”
Yesterday a friend of mine was telling me about a conversation he recently had with his dad. His father told him that his job was my friend’s life’s work. My friend objected and then his dad asked him a few questions:
“Son, where do you spend the most hours of your day?”
“What do you think about for the most number of hours per day?”
“Then your job is your life’s work. How do you feel about that? Is it fulfilling?”
“No. I don’t get any fulfillment from it. It’s just a job,” my friend answered.
“Sounds like you better change it. You don’t want your life’s work to be just a job.”
These are harsh words that could have been said with a kinder voice, though the point is crystal clear. Where and with whom we spend most of our time is our life’s work. I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about where my energy and time is spent, and what that’s accomplishing. I spend a lot of my time volunteering, and a lot of that volunteering is done in the field of education. I come alive in a classroom of any kind whether I’m the student or the teacher, and classrooms can be found throughout our communities. It’s that learning environment that is so invigorating, that gives me the most hope for our future.
And so, in the words of my friend’s father, I am about to set to work on making a change to make that time in education my life’s work. When I think about how much good can be done there, how much I have to offer in that setting, I realize that my torch is growing brighter.
The image above is not my own. It can be found here.