The Mysterious Traveler and the 3 Bricklayers

Why do you work?

Today I was part of an interesting discussion about why we work.

Why do you work? And, beyond the tasks of the day, what are you actually doing there?

Beyond the tasks of the day, what are you actually doing there?

This little folk story (shared earlier today and here retold) is a little beam of sunlight to help illuminate the question . . .

 

The Mysterious Traveler and the 3 Bricklayers

Three bricklayers are working together on a giant project. They’d been at it for years!


One day a mysterious traveler arrives and begins asking questions that had never been asked of the bricklayers before.


The first bricklayer is asked, “What are you doing?”

He looks tired, sweaty, and a bit disheartened as he replies, “I’m laying bricks, nearly endless amounts of bricks, day after day, year after year.”


Later, the second bricklayer is asked, “What are you doing?” but his reply is different.

He appears just as tired and sweaty as the first worker, but he has a little energy and a smile. He replies, “I am earning money to support my beloved family!”


Finally, near sunset, the third bricklayer is asked the very same question, but his reply is completely different! He looks sweaty too, but he does not look tired. He looks radiant! His eyes and heart are sparkling.

The third bricklayer smiles and replies, “I am building a temple to God.”

Temple Of Poseidon at Sounion at sunset by Aegean Sea

 

PHOTO CREDIT: Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash. (Temple Of Poseidon at Sounion on the Aegean Sea)