SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT FOR TEENS: Building Cathedrals — How Your Attitudes Shape Your Life

Hi, this is Michael Josephson with Something to Think About.

A long time ago a reporter visited a rock quarry where three men were cutting granite out of the walls. He asked the first what he was doing and the man grunted, “I’m making bricks.” The second man grinned and said, “I’m making the foundation for a building.” The third smiled, “I’m building a great cathedral.”

All three were doing the same job, but their different attitudes about their work determined how they experienced their lives.

The first fellow saw his labor in a narrow way — making bricks to make a living. The second looked through a wider lens, realizing his bricks would be part of something lasting and important – the foundation to a building. The third man had the widest vision of all. He saw himself as part of a grand and uplifting enterprise — building a cathedral!

Could you guess which was the happiest? Which one would you hire?

Let’s apply this story to teachers. The brick-maker type would say, “I teach math.” The foundation-builder would say: “I teach math but I also teach my students how to learn so they can be more capable of anything.” The cathedral-builder would say, “I teach math and lay a foundation for my students to learn other things, but I also help them see their full potential and build their character because each one is a cathedral!”

Which teacher would you rather have? Which do you think enjoys his or her life the most?

Could you apply this to your life? Are you just learning the least you have to so you get the grade you want, or are you taking the opportunity to build skills and habits that will help you achieve other goals? Imagine how much more you would get out of school if you saw yourself as a cathedral under construction, developing skills and character traits that will allow you to live a truly happy, rewarding and worthwhile life?

Remember, it’s your attitudes not your circumstances that determine how far you will go and how much you will enjoy the journey.

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