People all over the world honor their workers in a variety of ways. In the U.S., we honor those who labor by setting aside the first Monday of September as Labor Day. But world-wide, people pour themselves into their work — paid or unpaid — with commitment, ingenuity, and a sincere desire to make a difference. For them, work has become more than just work. It has become a labor of love.
Hard work is painful when life is devoid of purpose. But when you live for something greater than yourself and the gratification of your own ego, then hard work becomes a labor of love.Steve Pavlina
This week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #113 recognizes people around the globe who have gone the distance or created something that impacts life in a meaningful way. From our travels, here are some memorable labors of love.
As my husband and I built a Habitat for Humanity house in Nepal, we saw women laboring to make life better — from ladies who wove marigold necklaces to welcome our team, to those who gathered twigs and leaves to feed their work animals on the mountainside, to a grandmother who carried freshly washed clothes and a heavy jug of water up a precarious path to her family — every day.
In Cambodia, three generations worked together to dry fish for the family business. Even with the backbreaking, tedious, even smelly jobs befalling each person, we saw father, mother, children, and grandmother working as a team to ready the fish for the drying racks.
A man in Chefchouen sweeping the pathway in front of his house described for us the incredible volunteer effort of the town’s residents each spring to dab shades of blue paint on houses, walls, and streets. Now, Chefchouen is a notable, must-see tourist stop — all because of a labor of love by hard-working people in this little blue Moroccan town.
Two afternoons a week, cadets and instructors from the Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine, head down to the harbor to donate their time and sailing expertise. It’s all done so community members (and lucky visitors) can sail the ocean blue on the academy training ship, Bowdoin. For the cadets and their instructors, it’s not a requirement — just a labor of love. As they told us, “We just want to share the joy of watching the sun go down on beautiful Penobscot Bay with everyone.”
People who teach, nurture, and care for students or their own children — do so with love and dedication, even during a pandemic. From the small town of Perouges, France, to Knoxville, Tennessee, to Pawleys Island, South Carolina — love and labor abound in shepherding, coaching, and passing along good tips.
Finally, at the top of this post is another labor of love: a mural executed by school children in Mrs. Anders’ Second Grade Class honoring the spirit of helping others following the tragic events of 9/11. Now on display in the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in NYC, the mural reminds us that unplanned labors of love often happen as fellow citizens jump in immediately to provide help in turbulent times.
Now it’s your turn. We hope you’ll join us in sharing your interpretations of “A Labor of Love” whether you showcase a person or a group or an object notable for the labor or laborer involved. Publish your post and add your link to the Comments section at the bottom of my post. Please don’t forget to add the tag Lens-Artists so the Reader can find your post.
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.Unknown
Have you seen these?
This past week, your responses to Ann-Christine’s Pick-A-Word challenge were creative and fun! Have you seen these entries?
- Debbie of Travel with Intent shows us the incredible exuberance of red.
- Paulie of The Life in My Years shares, among other things, the most comfortable dogs ever.
- Jude of Cornwall in Colours highlights some growing, tangled nearby gardens.
From my heart, I’d like to say thanks to the creators of Lens-Artists Photo Challenge — Ann-Christine, Patti, Amy, and Tina — for allowing me to be a guest host this week. I’m honored to be sharing my ideas and pictures alongside four creative, skilled photographers. They inspire me every day with their labors of love. Next Saturday at noon EST, watch for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #114 provided by Amy.
Thanks to all who “live for something greater than yourself.”