Do the menial tasks ever get to you? Sometimes it can feel like they take over life and then our identities can end up wrapped up in being identified with those tasks. What if there was no such thing as a menial task? Instead, every task could have meaning. That’s actually reality—it just depends on our intention.
Let’s consider a “menial” task for a second. How could something like sharpening a pencil be meaningful? If it was a pencil picked up by someone like Van Gough or Walt Disney, then it’s easy to see the value. But what about us? Well, even Disney had to start somewhere. He went through millions of pencil-sharpening moments to build his abilities to a state where he could express his heart’s desires to be animated for all to enjoy. Our pencil-sharpening moments might be to build our sketching capacities too. It may also be for building our writing or blogging skills. It may be for personal use rather than public, like journaling our feelings to make better sense of our thoughts. If it’s for a public or personal purpose, it’s still meaningful.
What about the times when those tasks feel like they’re just to respond to meaningless assignments or roles? It still depends on our intention. There is no such thing as a meaningless assignment or role. Even picking up garbage is needed. Without it, we’d have no places of retreat to enjoy beauty, nature, or peace without feeling cluttered. We’re the ones who assign and dub things or roles as meaningless, but we could just as easily shift in realizing how meaningful each task and person is, including shifting our perspectives about ourselves.
You are needed.
What you do is needed.
If you didn’t do it, who would? Maybe someone else could, but it would not have your voice, your fingerprints, your experience, your beliefs, your creativity embellishing it with unique hues and patterns only you own. You have specific causes, strengths, cares, and tastes that bring matter to this world. Literally, if you didn’t care about something or like something, then it may never be considered and therefore never created. You matter because you bring matter to life. Sometimes that matter is not physical like a sketch. Your matter might be a transference of an idea, the rearing up of a person, or the feeling of being noticed or safe. Your inspiring thoughts come alive and make a difference on the rest of us.
During this Valentine’s season, take a moment to share some self-love with you. Consider what good you share and breathe in some meaning back into the things you do that you might have lost touch with. Then take a moment to consider someone around you, either a loved one, co-worker, or the person next to you at the traffic light. Consider the good they’re sharing and why we need him or her in this world. You may even be able to let them know, even if it looks like a random thumbs up and smile from the lady in the car next door 🙂