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By Liz WHAT ARE YOU REALLY DOING?
In 1666, Christopher Wren was commissioned to rebuild St. Paul’s Cathedral in London after a horrible fire destroyed most of the city. During the rebuilding, Wren observed the working practices of three bricklayers. He asked each of them the same question: “What are you doing?” The first bricklayer said, “I’m working.” The second bricklayer said, “I’m building a wall.” The third bricklayer said, “I’m building a cathedral to The Almighty.”
known their names. A different book, this one written in 1899 by Leader Scott and titled “The Cathedral Builders: The Story of a Great Masonic Guild” says that “the names of the builders are unknown to us, and we need not trouble to seek them; a generation and era is here with all its soul made visible, with all its vigorous and fruitful activity.” Some days, you find yourself just clocking in and out. The everyday routine can feel unengaging or dull. You’re just “working.” Other days, things feel full speed ahead, and you’re all in. You’re “building a cathedral to The Almighty.” But the reality is that we have a choice. We can either lay bricks or build cathedrals. Doing the right thing, despite which bricklayer we feel like that day, contributes to the foundation of the bigger picture. We may not always see it, but the work we all do in every single department has a purpose and sets the stage for our customers to be great at what they do. Our work is not unnoticed; it’s fruitful. We encourage each other to understand that, and it’s what our core value We Do the Right Thing really means to us.
In the book “Building Cathedrals: The Power of Purpose,” author Greg Coker writes about this story as a metaphor for guiding life. He uses the “cathedral” as an expression of purpose, one that each person must discover in order to be successful. Coker uses the bricklayers as examples of encouragement to never underestimate your ability to realize the power and responsibility you have in creating success.
This great story of the workers who contributed to rebuilding London has been told over many centuries, but no one has ever
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