There are times when we must work for money rather than meaning, and we may never have the luxury of quitting a job because it does not make is glad. But that does not release us from continuingly checking the violence we do to others and ourselves by working in ways that violate out souls. Nor does it relieve us from wondering whether preserving integrity is a luxury. What brings more security in the long run: holding this job or honoring my soul?
Parker Palmer. “The Heart of a Teacher: Identity and Integrity in Teaching.” The Courage to Teach. San Francisco, Calif. : Jossey-Bass, c1999
This quote could be the mantra for my beliefs about my chosen profession. I try to work with passion, understanding, and drive. I want to achieve, explore, succeed, and occasionally fail to learn from my mistakes.
I hope I never lose my optimism. I have often said that the day I start hating my job, the people I serve, or generally become a crotchety curmudgeon is the day I need to find something else with which to occupy my time. Sometimes we do not have the luxury of changing jobs easily, but we should not take out our misfortunes on others. As librarians, we serve a community in particular need of us and the information we collect.
When we love what we do and continue to love it through the years, we are better servants. The heart of a servant, one that loves the work we do, seeing the glory in the smallest acts is the heart of a person that has passion for their jobs and their lives.
Next time, I am disheartened or frustrated, as we all often are, I am going to try to remember why I do this everyday. Why do I walk into the library day after day, into classes many times through the semester, and sit at the reference desk? I do it because I love it, regardless of the challenges.
–Jane, why we fight