Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Burden of Work

As I plod through drop down menus and hustle reference letters, I try to remind myself that I am thankful to have the burden of CaRMS. 5 years ago when I started the process of summer school organic chemistry courses I didn't even know if this day would ever arrive. But here I am, gathering all the little stones and jewels of experience from the last ten years, shining and presenting them for various selection committees, hoping to catch the eye and interest of some program director.

Obviously my thoughts are overrun with pre-exam stress (my Canadian board exam is a week from tomorrow) and the uncertainty of my future, but I am trying to stay positive and focus on one day at a time living.

And I reminded myself of what Kahlil Gibran writes about Work, and use that to keep it all in perspective.

Always you have been told that work is a curse and labor a misfortune.
But I say to you that when you work you fulfill a part of earth's furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,
And in keeping yourself with labor you are in truth loving life,
And to love life through labor is to be intimate with life's inmost secret.

But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and the support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow, then I answer that naught but the sweat of your brow shall wash away that which is written...

...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.


Ann said...

I love the quote!! Excellent food for the thought. Good luck with your test!

Samuel R said...

That is a nice quote.

Paraphrasing another quote about work I know is that forgetting yourself and getting to work to help others is the key to personal happiness. Hard to do when applications are a time of work that is mainly selfish.

Good luck!

Solitary Diner (Also Known as The Frugalish Physician) said...

Love the quote too! It's a good thing to remind myself of when work feels very burdensome.

S said...

What an apropos quote! Thanks for the extra lift...sorely needed two days before ERAS apps go out!

Absentbabinski said...

I've been reading your past few posts with a sad heart, not knowing what to say that would express my sympathy with the shitty hand you've been dealt. I've also been wondering how to express how in awe I am of your hard work and dedication.

You're a source of constant inspiration for me (in life and medicine alike).

I love your quote - makes me want to go bake bread with joy in my heart.

I would also suggest you reflect on my father's wisdom on matters like those that plague you:

"Don't let the bastards grind you down"

If you want to off-load sometime, you know where I am :)

Justin said...

As a new M1, that was a perfect quote for me to read right now. I'm currently redefining my take on the concept of "work," and I'm trying to do so in as positive a way as possible. This was good. Thanks for sharing!