“Isn’t it more appropriate for us humans to endure and be strong? We understand, after all, that we suffer for the sake of something good, either to help our friends, to aid our city, to fight on behalf of women or children, or for the most important and weighty reason of all, to be good and just and self-controlled. No one achieves this without pain. And so I conclude that because we humans acquire all good things by pain, the person who is himself unwilling to endure pain all but condemns himself to being worthy of nothing good.” – Musonius Rufus
Looking back on the last year I wonder at the person I was a year ago, optimistic yet unsure about the pandemic. Working from home all the time was new; different and unfamiliar. A year later, the work is once again taking over. But we’re different, aren’t we? And so is the nature of the work.
Ultimately, we either do the work or become masters at hiding from it. In general, and over time, this becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy for us. Do the work that matters, harden the softness that threatens your effectiveness and eventually good things will come your way.
The days fly by when you’re deep in productive and rewarding work. Over the last year there were plenty of days that felt both unproductive and unrewarding. Sometimes you feel that things will never get back to normal. But the rewards are there for those who push through the pain and frustration and loss. Which makes me wonder, have I done enough to be worthy of those rewards? Are we doing enough now?
If we know we can do more, shouldn’t we?