The joys of life through work and friendship 

Norfolk County Hall Chaplain, Rev Dr Liviu Barbu ponders on the joys of life through work and friendship.

The autumn is drawing its last colourful curtain over nature and yet another episode of our life. We are busy in our jobs and these have various complex ramifications. Some of us may ask what is there for me in the work I do?
Every person's life and work have an intrinsic value. It is true however that at times one's self-worth may be a difficult thing to sense. The 19th century Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky once said that it takes very little to destroy someone's life - just convince that person that no one needs what she or he does.
It thus often comes to our true friends and colleagues to help us build up our lives and careers. They can see our worth and potential where we can’t, and they can behold a ray of sunshine even against a backdrop of threatening clouds.
Following Dostoyevsky, the love of a true friend is like that of God who knows and sees us not only as we are, but moreover as we could be, as people attaining their potential and living full lives. Helping a person to be what she or he could indeed be is true friendship. Such are the people who see our worth in the reality of here and now.
In this age of productivity and effectiveness, it is good to remind ourselves that there is great value in doing a good job, whatever that may be, when we do it as if for a 'higher authority', who sees all and each of our strivings. Putting together, one by one, the pieces of our life’s puzzle, we may be able to get a glimpse into the grand picture of our lives and their projection into the future and from there into eternity. In the words of Dostoyevsky again (The Brothers Karamazov), life itself is to be loved more than anything else in the world, for its own sake. It is only then one could grasp its deepest meaning.
Expanding on the above thoughts, we could infer that our present life and occupation are more valuable than any other imaginary 'alternative reality', if there is any such thing. To dream is only human, to work hard and be serious about the details of our present life is however a duty, which, in turn, will bring our dreams a step closer to the reality of our lives.
Neither the past nor the future are then more important than living the present to the full, creating a 'paradise' from what we have, with the people we live and work with. In line with Dostoyevsky's thinking, to be mindful of one's present blessings is to reaffirm the joy and worth of life. At the same time, there will certainly be a better tomorrow based on today's strivings. Any sower is indeed worthy of a harvest!

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Published: 17/12/2019