Thursday, September 1st, 2011 12:07:06

The Value of Work

In my hands was a small, multicolored clay turtle that I had made and painted at elementary school. I carefully walked up the steps to the front of our home, excited to show my mother what I had made and give it to her. As I opened the screen door, I dropped my handcrafted treasure, and it broke into pieces. I sat down and cried.

My mother found me a few minutes later, gathered me in her arms and gave me a hug. After I stopped crying, we picked up the pieces, took them inside and glued them together. This turtle sits in my mother’s kitchen today.

Why did I cry? Happy and proud that I had crafted something for my mother with my hands, I was devastated when it fell and broke into pieces. My mother inherently understood that what was important was that I had created something for her, and she helped me fix it. The turtle was an outward sign that I was competent, that I could make something of value, that I had improved her life with something that I had made.