The stunning wisdom in “The Bricklayer’s Proverb”

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Brian Kight

A man walked by a group of bricklayers toiling under the hot summer sun

He approached the first bricklayer and asked, "What is it you're doing here?"

"What does it look like I'm doing?" the worker replied, clearly annoyed. "I'm out here sweating in the sun with these bricks to feed my family."

The man spoke to another bricklayer. "Excuse me, sir. I don't mean to distract you, but what are you doing?"

The second bricklayer confidently replied, "I'm laying these bricks to build an outer wall of this building. I must place them just right so the wall is strong."

Finally, the man asked a third bricklayer, "What are you doing?"

The bricklayer took a step back and looked to the sky. "I'm constructing a grand cathedral where the people of our town will congregate, fill their souls, and feel the inspiration to pursue the dreams in their hearts."

Each bricklayer was doing the same activity but performing much different work.

The first bricklayer couldn't see beyond the moment he was in. It was just bricks to earn a paycheck. The second bricklayer could see a little further. The bricks were building blocks of a wall for which he was responsible.

The final bricklayer saw the furthest. He understood the ultimate purpose of his work. He wasn't laying bricks, building a wall, or even constructing a building.

He was creating something with deeper meaning and lasting emotional value. He was not laying bricks. He was not crafting a wall.

He understood he was changing lives.

The time is now. Do the work.

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