Work IS Worship

“No work is insignificant. All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


TASK AT HAND: This week I’m thinking about the old proverb, “work is worship”. It’s one that my parents taught me and one I echo frequently. However, it is also one that I commonly get dumbfounded and exasperated queries for. It is commonly questioned whether work is not merely some mechanical action relegated to a necessary compromise for material survival. So, on today’s Sunday Surgical Scrub, I will explain how I adapt this ancient teaching into a daily motivator.

1. Your work is about you. Work does not define you but, how you carry out your work, does speak volumes about your character. We need to remind ourselves that our work – whatever it may be – gives us a tremendous opportunity to develop ourselves. When you are working, you are working on yourself: your temperament, patience, equanimity, and problem solving. Therefore, this is why putting in a weak effort is so troubling. When you deny yourself effort and care in your work, you are placating a similar weakness in yourself.

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, ‘Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well” (Martin Luther King Jr.). To borrow more from MLK, simply put, carry out your work as the best possible reflection of who you are. This facet of emphasis supports improvement and the creation of a culture of excellence rather than the mere production of tasks and jobs. This is where work, and how you approach it, can facilitate a spiritual connection.

2. Work is work. Sometimes, work is just work. It can be painful and frustrating. This is ok. It does not mean quit your job. It does not mean you are a terrible person. It does not mean you have to replace coworkers. It means that, sometimes, work is work. Don’t deny this feeling but accept it. This provides calm during challenging times. Moreover, it is worthwhile to remember that, if you have the skill where you are paid for a task, then it follows that you should be able to execute certain functions despite frustration and fear.


MEDICINE & MACULA: Many thanks to New Retina MD for showcasing our publication on the cover of the July 2017 Mystery Cases issue.

Our case, The Adventure of the Upstate Traveler: A camper brings home an unintended souvenir from a camping trip (Robin Kuriakose, Lorna Grant, Eric Chin & David Almeida) will have you checking twice after going out in the woods…

Attachment of a deer tick to the conjunctiva is a rare event, with only a few reports in the literature. We report a unique case of tick penetration into the conjunctiva, specifically a black-legged deer tick (Ixodes scapularis). You can find the case here.


GRATIS: “The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.” –Robert Frost


My best to you,

David Almeida

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