On this day before Valentine’s Day, I wanted to explore the connection between love and work. So I googled it. I thought the search results would yield interesting research in support of the old Mark Twain adage 'Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.'
Instead, I found myself attracted to stories about people around the country and their connection to love and work. So enjoy reading these small-town bylines that show that love and work are a worthy mission in life.
- Littleton, Maine. How a love of English leads to a career teaching college students.
“I tell my students all the time to choose a career they are going to be happy at,” she said. “It isn’t always about money. It is about being happy in life and loving what you are doing.”
- West Fargo, North Dakota. A teacher and volleyball coach talks about her passion for providing opportunities for young adults to reach their potential.
“It is very rewarding to be a part of so many lives, many of whom, I have also employed and helped mentor to become a volleyball coach. I love to see young adults passionate and want to learn and give back to a program that they grew up in. It is great to stay in touch with so many athletes I have worked with over the years. In addition, volleyball may come and go, but who they are outside of volleyball is truly what makes them special!”
- Dayton, Ohio. A native Daytonian returned home and helps transform the downtown through love and sweat.
“Downtown Dayton’s transformation has taken hard work from everyone — every organization, every large and small business, nearly every Daytonian and nearly every ounce of their creativity and patience and belief and sweat equity. And the beauty of that is that we all own it. We all made this and we all take pride in it. I love that so many people in downtown Dayton proudly defend it and proudly display their love for it without a shred of irony or sarcasm. After decades of being our own worst critics, we’ve become our greatest cheerleaders. The strength of the transformation is in the way it was achieved – by everyone, with love and hard work, over a long period of time – and that’s such a unique and great thing to see. “
- Washington, D.C. A young woman in technology describes her ah-ha moment during a performance review with her supervisor when she realized that “helping people” didn’t describe all that she was doing. She sat herself sit down and thought about what she was doing to “pay the bills” versus the other things that were “lighting me up” — the work that she was passionate about.
"I asked myself, 'What would make me enjoy my job more as a woman in technology? What would make me stay?' I had no idea that these two questions would set me on a course of advocacy," writes civic technologist and consultant Eva Reid.
- Berkeley, California. An educator and researcher learns and chooses to lead with love.
The choice that I have made is to hold a vibration of love, and it’s a choice that offers endless learning opportunities. I’m not talking about love in a romantic sense, but rather a practice that invites the exercise of the golden rule, ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ That’s the choice that I’m making.