"Monday 5 Things" with D. Paul Graham

.....Labor Ipse Voluptas.....


Published:

Foggy Kaministiquia morning in Thunder Bay. Circa 1979.

Photo: D. Paul Graham

Monday 5 Things…..Labor Ipse Voluptas…..

Today is the day we celebrate our labor. Labour is celebrated north of the border. Wherever you are in this world, because of Covid, where, how and the perhaps even the type of work you do probably has changed from last year. For some, radically. In fact, it is likely that the way you celebrate today will look very different from previous years. Over the past few weeks, I have been reading some poetry by Dromgoole (she was a most prolific author, writing over 7,500 poems, 5,000 essays, and 13 books) and Edgar Guest, who writes the most optimistic poems and prose about life. This morning’s M5T shares two of their poems, rounded out by some favorite quotes, that seemed fitting on this first Monday of September.

1. Of Creating.

“Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson. “Do or do not. There is no try.” ~ Yoda. “I can accept anything, except what seems to be the easiest for most people: the half-way, the almost, the just-about, the in-between.” ~ Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged.

2. Of Building Bridges.

An old man going a lone highway
Came at the evening, cold and gray,
To a chasm vast and wide and steep,
With waters rolling cold and deep.

The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
The sullen stream had no fears for him;
But he turned when safe on the other side,
And built a bridge to span the tide.

"Old man," said a fellow pilgrim near,
"You are wasting your strength with building here.
Your journey will end with the ending day,
You never again will pass this way.
You've crossed the chasm, deep and wide,
Why build you this bridge at eventide?

The builder lifted his old gray head.
"Good friend, in the path I have come," he said,
"There followeth after me today
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
The chasm that was nought to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be;
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him. ~ Will Allen Dromgoole, The Bridge Builder.

3. Of Thought and Deed.

“A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is visible labor and there is invisible labor.” ~ Victor Hugo. "Without labor, nothing prospers." ~ Sophocles. "Dare to be honest and fear no labour." ~ Robert Burns

4. Of Today.

He was going to be all that a mortal should be; Tomorrow.
No one should be kinder or braver than he; Tomorrow.
A friend who was troubled and weary he knew,
Who'd be glad of a lift and who needed it, too;
On him he would call and see what he could do; Tomorrow.
Each morning he stacked up the letters he'd write; Tomorrow.
And thought of the folks he would fill with delight; Tomorrow.
It was too bad, indeed, he was busy today,
And hadn't a minute to stop on his way;
More time he would have to give others, he'd say; Tomorrow.
The greatest of workers this man would have been; Tomorrow.
The world would have known him, had he ever seen; Tomorrow.
But the fact is he died and he faded from view,
And all that he left here when living was through
Was a mountain of things he intended to do; Tomorrow. ~ Edgar Guest, Tomorrow.

5. Of Labors of Love.

“Though you can love what you do not master, you cannot master what you do not love.” ~ Mokokoma Mokhonoana. “Whatever you want to do, if you want to be great at it, you have to love it and be able to make sacrifices for it.” ~ Maya Angelou.  “Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” ~ Aristotle. “The supreme accomplishment is to blur the lines between work and play.” ~ Arnold J. Toynbee.

Here’s to a day of reflecting on finding pleasure in work itself, and to a week of renewing and refreshing your perspective on how you labo(u)r.

© 2020 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

D. Paul Graham is passionate about people, culture, photography and business. He has embraced his wanderlust with his travels around the globe and is at peace with his need for spirited drives in all things automotive.

You can find M5T each Monday here on www.southmag.com and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook. Paul is also a contributing photographer to South Magazine. His photographic work can be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at www.imageGRAHAM.com . Your feedback is always welcome. Email Paul at dpg@imagegraham.com