On work II

It is best if your work is that which enables you to truly realize yourself. Yet it is difficult to know which work can bring about this crystallization.

For years I believe the only work worth of the name was creative work of the artistic kind–work best suited for those of superior mind and sensitive understanding. How great my pride: how miniscule my knowledge!

Now I know the work that most expands my mind is simple, repetitive, and often boring. Typing lists of things; accounting for life’s unmemorable dross has become an ennobling activity.

I now appreciate, perhaps may some day truly understand, why the man who used to collect the shit from our backhouses once a week never felt humbled by this activity. He smiled and joked like any ordinary man, bore his load with patience, and never, so far as I knew, paid the slightest attention to the snickers behind his back. Never once did I hear him curse or complain. He was never slovenly, never dirty, never smelled. What he carried smelled, but he did not create that–we did. We used to call his truck the Honey Wagon Without him we would have sunk in our own mire; suffocated in the effluent we paid him to collect. The names of many who labored over me to “teach me something” I cannot remember: Mr. Klanka’s example remains with  me still. He was then, I have become, not ashamed of menial work . . .

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