Parable of the Bricklayers

Note to my future self…

Today I came across this nice little parable and I wanted to write a quick note on it:

Three bricklayers are asked: “What are you doing?” The first says, “I am laying bricks.” The second says, “I am building a church.” And the third says, “I am building the house of God.” The first bricklayer has a job. The second has a career. The third bricklayer has a calling.

There’s so much to unpack here and so much of it is on the eye of the beholder. I think that the words use to describe what each bricklayer have to be carefully examined because they can mean different things to different people.

Now looking beyond that, what I think makes this story so powerful is that it challenges the idea that a calling or your passion, which are already two different things, is something comes to you externally. In other words, your calling is something that you develop not something that you find. You don’t find your passion → you develop it.

This notion of agency is extremely powerful in my opinion because it can help us focus on developing something into our passion/calling rather than wandering aimlessly looking for something that’s not there. This might sound a little aggressive but I am my point is simple:

It’s up to you to define whether your work is your passion. Whether society deems it valuable or not that’s a separate issue.

Although I certainly believe that creating valuable things makes us more passionate about them, I don’t think that these two factors correlate 1:1. Understanding the difference between how much value something creates vs. how passionate you’re about it might make us a lot more happy because we can be more conscious about what we do the things we do.

In any case, that’s probably enough for today. I think it’s important to keep finding ways to develop our passions and make sure that they align with what we want. That’s it.

Now back to work…