A few weeks ago I met an old friend and colleague at the Yonge and Bloor subway station. We were on the same train heading down to Union.
We had not seen each other in quite some time. Much to my surprise, he had retired for a couple of years. But now he was back at work. Why?
“During my retirement, I wanted to give back to the community but I was never appreciated.” he said. “No one appreciates your work when it is free. I spent all of this time and effort on one project and then they decided to hire someone else. Not so much as a thank you. At least when you work, you get paid.”
Something similar happened to me recently. But service, like love for a family, has to be unconditional. I serve because it makes a difference not because it makes me feel appreciated.
I need to remind myself of that from time to time. Like today.